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Full text of "THE WRITTINGS OF GEORGE WASHINGTON, VOL. 1"

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THE WRITINGS 



GEORGE WASHINGTON 

VOL. I. 



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THE NEW YORK 
PUBLIC LIBRARY 



ASTOR, LENOX, Avn 
TILDEN FOlKDAliOv.. 
B 



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Tvn'j -.if. '.:/ •;:\.>i i ;r\. in -ly p.. ; .\ 



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THE 



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AMERICAN STATIONERS' COMPANY. 
JOHN B. RUSSELL. 



1837. 



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THE SEW TOHK 
PUBLIC LIBRAKY 

371929B 

ASrOR, LENOX AND 
•■LDtN FOrNDATlOSS 
R 1946 L 



Entered according to the Act of Congresa, in the year one thousand eight 
hundred and thirty-seyen, by Jamd Sparks, in the Clerk *8 Office of the 
District Court of the District of Biassachusetts. 



CAMBRIDGE: 

F0L80W, WELLS, AND THURSTOIT, 

raiiiTnB to tbb univbrsitt. 



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PREFACE. 



The plan of this work, and the manner of 
executing it, are fully explained in the Intro- 
ductions to the First and Second Parts. A 
few particulars only remain to be added. 

The large mass of papers, which accumu- 
lated in the hands of Washington during the 
long period of his public life, as well as those 
of a private nature, were carefully preserved 
by him at Mount Vernon. By his will he left 
the estate at Mount Vernon and all his papers 
to his nephew, Bushrod Washington, who was 
for more than thirty years one of the asso- 
ciate justices of the Supreme Court of the 
United States. Ten years ago these man- 
uscripts were placed in my possession by 
Judge Washington, for the purpose of pre- 
paring for the press and publishing the work, 
which is now brought to a conclusion and 
submitted to the public. The original papers, 
including Washington's own letters and those 
received by him, and amounting to more than 



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viii PREFACE. 

two hundred folio volumes, have recently been 
purchased by Congress, and are deposited in 
the archives of the Department of State at 
the seat of government. 

With these materials, it will readily be sup- 
posed, the work might have been extended to 
a much larger number of volumes. A limit 
was fixed, which it was believed would em- 
brace all the most valuable parts of Wash- 
ington's writings, and at the same time not 
trespass too much on the means of purchasers. 
The task of selection has not been without 
its difficulties. I feel bound to say, however, 
that any errors in this respect should be at- 
tributed to defects of judgment, and not to 
carelessness or negligence. Neither time, 
expense, nor labor in examination^ has been 
spared. 

In regard to the text, also, it is proper 
here to repeat what has been said in another 
place, that frequent embarrassments have oc- 
curred. It was Washington's custom, in all 
his letters of importance, first to write drafls, 
which he transcribed. In making the tran- 
scripts he sometimes deviated from the drafts, 
omitting, inserting, and altering parts of sen- 
tences ; nor did he always correct the drafls, 
so as to make them accord with the letters 



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^ 



PREFACE. ix 

as sent to his correspondents. These imper- 
fect drafts were laid aside, and from time to 
time copied by an amanuensis into the letter- 
books. Hence the drafts, as now record- 
ed, do not in all cases agree precisely with 
the originals that were sent away. My re- 
searches have brought under my inspection 
many of these original letters. Regarding 
them as containing the genuine text, I have 
preferred it to that in the letter-books, and 
it has accordingly been adopted whenever it 
could be done. But the discrepances are 
of little moment, relating to the style, and 
not to the substance. For the most part 
I have been obliged to rely on the letter- 
books; and, for the reasons here mentioned, 
it is probable that the printed text may not 
in every particular be the same as in the 
originals, that is, the corrected copies, which 
were sent to his correspondents. These re- 
marks apply chiefly to private letters, written 
when Washington was at Mount Vernon, and 
to those written during the French war. In 
the periods of the Revolution and the Presi- 
dency, much more exactness was observed ; 
and, as far as my examination has extend- 
ed, there is generally a literal accordance be- 
tween the original letters and the transcripts 
in the letter-books. 

VOL. I. h 



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X PREFACE. 

The materials for the Notes and Appendixes 
have been collected from a great variety of 
sources, which it would be impossible, within 
the limits of a preface, either to describe or 
enumerate. Avoiding historical disquisitions, 
reflections, and remarks not connected with 
the immediate purpose, the object has been 
to explain the writings and acts of Washing- 
ton. The illustrations supplied by the notes 
and appendixes, being derived almost whol- 
ly from unpublished manuscripts, may justly 
claim to be considered as authentic, and as 
new contributions to history. 

Letters in foreign languages, and extracts 
from such letters, have been translated, for 
the convenience of every class of readers. 
It will be easy to ascertain what passages 
are translated, by the names of the writers, 
who were foreigners, and whose names are 
mentioned. Lafayette wrote to Washington 
and to other American oflScers in English; but 
his letters to the French ministry and to for- 
eign officers were in his native tongue. The 
letters from Count de Rochambeau to Wash- 
ington were likewise usually in English, hav- 
ing been translated by a secr^ary, who under- 
stood that language. 

To General Lafayette I have been under 



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PREFACE. xi 

very great obligations for the papers and in- 
formation with which he furnished me, and for 
the assistance he rendered in facilitating my 
researches in the archives at Paris. Copies 
of nimierous papers relating to the American 
Revolution, and a copy of his whole corre-^ 
spondence with the French government, which 
was procured from the public offices, he in- 
trusted to my charge, with the permission to 
publish any parts, or the whole, in such form 
and manner as my judgment should dictate. 
The use that has been made of them, and their 
value, will appear throughout these volumes. 

The public generally, not less than the Ed- 
itor of this work, is indebted to Lord Hol- 
land for a very curious and interesting paper, 
which will be found in the Appendix to the 
Sixih Volume, and which consists of extracts 
from a correspondence between George the 
Third and Lord North relative to the Amer* 
ican war. These extracts were selected by 
Lord Holland from the manuscripts of Sir 
James Mackintosh, and they certainly form 
the most remarkable document connected with 
the history of the Revolution. 

My thanks are due to Mr. Justice Story 
for the lively interest he has manifested in 
my labors, and for the benefit I have often 



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CONTENTS 



OF THE 



TWELVE VOLUMES. 



VOLUME I- 
LIFE OF WASHINGTON. 

CHAPTER L 

Pkge 
Origin of the Washington Family. — John and Lawrence Wash- 
ington emigrate to America. — Birth of George Washington. — His 
early Education. — His Fondness for mathematical Studies and 
athletic Amusements, and his methodical Habits. — A Project 
formed for his entering the British Navy as a Midshipman. — He 
becomes a practical Surveyor. — Engages in the. Employment of 
Lord Fairfax. — Continues the Business of Surveyor for three 
Years. — Appointed Adjutant of one of the Districts in Virginia. 

— Voyage to Barbadoes with his Brother. . • . • . 1 

CHAPTER n. 

The French make Encroachments on the Western Frontiers of Vir- 
ginia. — Claims of the French and English to the Western Terri- 
tory considered. — Major Washington is sent by the Governor of 
Virginia to warn the Intruders to retire. — Crosses the Allegany 
Mountains. — Meets Indians on the Ohio River, who accompany 
him to the French Garrison. — Indian Speech. — Interviews with 
the French Commander. — Perilous Adventures during his Jour- 
ney, and in crossing the Allegany River. — Returns to Williams- 
burg and reports to the Governor. — His Journal published. — He 
is appointed to the Command of Troops to repel the Invasion <^ 
the Frontiers. — Governor Dinwiddle 90 

CHAPTER in. 

Military Preparations. — Washingtcm appointed Lieutenant ColoneL 

— Marches to the Allegany Mountains. — Joined by Parties of 



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XVI CONTENTS. 

Indians, — Skinmsh with a French Detachment under Jumonville. 

— The Chief Command devolves on Colonel Washington. — His 
generous Sentiments respecting the Terms of Service. — Fort 
Necessity. — Battle of the Great Meadows. — Resigns his Com- 
mission. — Engages in the Ebrpedition under General Braddock. — 
Difficulties encountered by the Army in its March. — Battle of the 
Monongahela. — Its disastrous Results. — Bravery and good Con- 
duct of Colonel Washington in that Action. — His prudent Advice 

to General Braddock 40 

CHAPTER IV. 

Colonel Washington appointed Commander-in-chief of the Virginia 
Forces. — Distresses of the Frontier Inhabitants. — Reforms in the 
Arrangement and Discipline of the Army. — Difficulties with an 
Officer holding a King's Commission concerning Rank. — Wash- 
ington visits General Shirley at Boston upon this Subject — His 
Claim confirmed. — Returns and repairs to his Head-quarters at 
Winchester. — Embarrassments of his Situation. — Testimonies of 
Confidence in his Character and Ability. — Occurrences of the 
Campaign. — Incursions of the Savages. — Plan of Fortifications 
for the Interior. — Fort Cumberland. — Memorial presented by 
Colonel Washington to the EJarl of Loudoun on the State of Milita- 
ry Affairs in Virginia. 71 

CHAPTER V. 

Governor Dinwiddie sails for England. — An Expedition against Fort 
Duquesne planned by the British Ministry, to be under the Com- 
mand of General Forbes. — The Virginia Army augmented, and 
united with the Regular Troops in this Enterprise. — Colonel 
Washington marches to Fort Cumberland. — Acts in Concert with 
Colonel Bouquet — Joins the main Army at Rayslown under 
General Forbes. — Forms a Plan of March suited to the Moun- 
tains and Woods. — Commands the advanced Division of the 
Army. — Capture of Fort Duquesne. — He returns to Virginia, 
resigns his Conmiission, and retires to private Life. . . .90 

CHAPTER VL 

Washington's Marriage. — For many Years a Member of the Vir- 
gima House of Burgesses. — His Pursuits and Habits as a Planter. 

— A Vestryman in the Church, and active in Parish Affairs. — His 
Opinion of the Stamp Act. — Takes an early and decided Stand 
against the Course pursued by the British Government towards the 
Colonies. — Joins heartily in all the Measures of Opposition. — His 
Services in procuring the Lands promised to the Officers and Sol- 



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CONTENTS. xvii 

dien in the French War. — Performs a Tour to the Ohio and Ken- 
hawa Rivers for the Purpose of selecting those Lands. — Takes an 
active Part at different Times in the Proceedings of the Virginia 
Legislature in defending the Rights of the Colonies. — His Opin- 
ions on this Subject — Chosen to command several Independent 
Companies of Militia. — A Delegate to the first and second Vir- 
ginia Conventions. — A Member of the Continental Congress. . 105 

CHAPTER VIL 

Meeting of the second Congress. — Washington chosen Commander- 
in-chief of the Continental Army. — Repairs to Cambridge, and 
takes the Command. — State of the Army. — His Intercourse with 
Congress. — Numerous Affairs devolve on him. — Correspondence 
with General Gage. — The Expedition to Quebec. — Councils of 
War respecting an Assault on Boston. — Organization of a new 
Continental Army. — Difficulties of procuring Recruits. — Militia 
called out — Maritime Affiiirs. — Armed Vessels. — Greneral Howe 
takes Command of the British Anny. — Condition of the American 
Army at the End of the Year. — Washington's Arrangement of 
his private Afiairs 136 

CHAPTER Vin. 

Plans for an Attack on Boston. — Condition of the Army. — Dor- 
chester Heights fortified. — Evacuation of Boston. — Troops march 
to New York. — Washington repairs to Congress. — His Views in 
Regard to the State of the Country. — Machinations of the Tories, 
and Measures taken to defeat them. — Declaration of Indepen- 
dence. — Arrival of Lord Howe, with Proposals for a Reconcilia- 
tion with the Colonies. — Mode of addressing Letters to Washing- 
ton attempted by the British Admiral and General. — Strength and 
Condition of the two Armies. — Battle of Long Island. — Remaiks 
on the Battle. — Impression made by it on the American Army 
and Public 167 

CHAPTER IX. 

New York evacuated, and the British take Possession of the City. 
— The American Army posted at Haeriem Heights and Fort 
Washington. — Situation and Prospects of the Army. — Its new 
Organization. — The British land in Westchester County, and 
march into the Country. — Washington advances to White Plains 
and forms an Encampment — Battle of Chatterton's Hill. — Part 
of the American Army crosses the Hudson. — Capture of Fort 
Washington and Fort Lee. -» General Washington retreats through 
New Jersey, and crosses the Delaware at Trenton. — Conduct and 
VOL. L C ^* 



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XViii CONTENTS. 

Character of General Lee. — Reduced State of the Army. — Re- 
inforced by Troops from Ticonderoga. — General Washuigton in- 
vested wiUi extraordinary Powers by Congress. — His Manner of 
using them. — He recrosses the Delaware. — Battle of Trenton. — 
BaUle of Princeton.— • The Army goes into Winter-Quarters at 
MorristowB. — Remarks on these Events. .... 197 

CHAPTER X. 

General Washington's Proclamation. — His Preparations for the next 
Campaign. — Exchange of Prisoners. — Condition of the Ameri- 
can Prisoners in New York. — Military Operations in New Jersey. 
— The Army crosses the Delaware and encamps near German- 
town. — Washington's first Interview with Lafayette. — Sir Wil- 
liam Howe lands at the Head of Elk. — Battle of the Brandy wine. 

— New Powers conferred on Washington by Congress. — Battle of 
Germantown. — Skirmishes at Whitemarsh. — Sufferings of the 
Army. — Winter Encampment at Valley Forge. — Spurious Letters 
written and circulated in the name of Washington. — Conway's 
Cabal. — Persons concerned in it. — Honorable and generous Con- 
duct of Lafayette in Relation to this Afiair. .... S35 

CHAPTER XI. 

Sufferings of the Army at Valley Forge. — New Arrangements con- 
certed with a Committee of Congress. — Half-pay granted to the 
Oflicers for a Term of Years. — Proceedings in Regard to Lord 
North's conciliatory Bills. — Arrival of the French Treaties of 
Alliance and Commerce. — Comparative Strength of the British 
and American Armies. — Discussions respecting an Attack on 
Philadelphia. — Plans of the Enemy. — Evacuation of Philadelphia. 

— The Army crosses the Delaware. — Battle of Monmouth. — 
Arrest and Trial of General Lee. — Arrival of the French Fleet 
under Count d'Estaing. — Plans for combined Operations between 
the Fleet and the American Army. — Failure of an Attempt 
against the Enemy at Rhode Island. — Cantonments of the Army 
for the Winter. — Exchange of Prisoners. — Congress. — Prcgect 

of an Expedition to Canada 276 

CHAPTER Xn. 

Conferences with a Committee of Congress, and Plans for the next 
Campaign. — Sullivan's Expedition against the Indians. — The 
Enemy commence a predatory Warfare. — The Burning of New 
Haven, Fairfield, and Norwalk. — Stony Point stormed and taken. 

— Successful Enterprise against Paulus Hook. — Washington's 
Interviews with the French Minister. — Plans proposed for co- 



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CONTENTS. xix 

operating with Count d'Estaing. — The Army goes into Winter- 
Quarters. — Depreciation of the currency, and its effects. — Arrival 
of the Marquis de Lafayette, with the Intelligence that a French 
Armament was on its Way to the United States. — The Army 
takes a Position near Hudson's River. — The French Squadron 
arrives at Newport — Count de Rochambeau's Instructions. — 
French Fleet blockaded. — Interview between General Washing- 
ton and the French Commander at Hartford. — The Treason of 
Arnold. — Flans for attacking New York. 316 

CHAPTER Xm. 

Mutiny of the Pennsylvania and New Jersey Troops. — Agency of 
Washington in procuring Supplies from Fnmce. — Limited Powers 
of Congress. — Operations of the Enemy in the Chesapeake. — 
Detachment to Virginia under Lafayette. — General Washington 
visits Count de Rochambeau at Newport — Condition of the Army. 
— Interview between the American and French Commanders at 
Weathersfield. — Plan of Operations. — A combined Attack on 
New York proposed. — Junction between the American and French 
Armies. — Intelligence from Count de Grasse in the West Indies 
changes the Objects of the Campaign. — Successful Operations 
of Lafayette against Comwallis. — The combined Armies cross 
the Hudson and march to Virginia. — The Fleet of Count de 
Grasse enters the Chesapeake. — Siege of Yorktown. — Capitu- 
lation. — The American Army returns to Hudson's River; the 
French remains in Virginia. 346 

CHAPTER XIV. 

Preparations for another Campaign reconunended and enforced by 
General Washington and approved by Congress. — Lafayette re- 
turns to France. — The Afikir of Captain AsgiU. — Backwardness 
of the States in recruiting the Army. — Proposal to General Wash- 
ington to assume Supreme Power, and his Reply. — Sir Guy 
Carleton gives Notice, that Negotiations for Peace had begun. — 
The French Troops march from Virginia, join General Washington, 
and afterwards embark at Boston. — Dissatisfaction of the Army.. 
— The Officers send a Memorial to Congress. — The anonymous 
Addresses at Newburg. — Intelligence arrives, that a Treaty of 
Peace had been signed at Paris. — General Washington's Senti- 
ments concerning the civil Government of the Union. — His Cir- 
cular Letter to the States. — He makes a Tour to the North. — 
Repairs to Congress at the Request of that Body. — His Farewell 
Address to the Army. — The Bhtish evacuate New York. — Wash- 
ington resigns his Commission, and retires to private Life at Mount 
Vernon 373 



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XX CONTENTS. 



CHAPTER XV. 

He declinet receiTing peoiniary CompensatioD for his public Servi- 
ces. — His Feelings on being relieved from the Burden of Ofllce. 

— Devotes himself to Agriculture. — Makes a Tour to the Western 
Country. — His extensive Plans for internal Navigation. — These 
Plans adopted by the State of Virginia. — Visit of the Bfarquis de 
Lafiiyette to America. — Washington refoses to accept a Dona- 
tion from the State of Virginia. — His liberal Acts for the Encour- 
agement of Education. — Approves the Countess of Huntington's 
Scheme for civilizing and Christianizing the Indians. — His Opera- 
tions in Farming and Horticulture. — Visiters at Mount Vernon. — 
His Habits. — Houdon's Statue. — Condition of the Country and 
Defects of the Confederacy. — Washington's Sentiments thereon. 

— First Steps towards effecting a Reform. — Convention at Anap- 
olis. — Proposal for a general Convention, and Washington ap- 
pointed a Delegate from Vir^ginia. — His Reasons for wishing to 
decline. — Society of the Cincinnati — Washington accepts the 
Appointment as Delegate. — Attends the Convention, is chosen its 
President, and affixes his Name to the New Constitution. — His 
Opinion of the Constitution. — It is adopted by the People. — 
Washington chosen the first President of the United States. . 404 

CHAPTER XVI. 

He receives official Notice of being chosen President — His Jour- 
ney to the Seat of Government at New York. — His Oath of 
Office and Inaugural Speech. — Acquaints himself with the State 
of public Affidrs. — His Attention to his private Pursuits. — His 
Manner of receiving Visits and entertaining Company. — Afflicted 
with a severe Illness. — Death of his Mother. — Executive De- 
partments formed, and the Officers appointed. — Judiciary System 
organized. — Washington's Opinion of the Supreme Court — His 
Rule in Appointments to Office. ^ 441 

CHAPTER XVn. 

His Journey through the Eastern States. — Letter from Mrs. Wash- 
ington. — System of Funding the public Debts. — Place for the 
pennanent Seat of Government agreed upon. — The President 
visits Rhode Island and Mount Vernon. — Foreign Relations of 
the United States. — France, England, Spain. — Indian War. — 
Washington's Policy respecting the Indians. — Congress meets 
at Philadelphia, — A National Bank established. — Tax on distilled 
Spirits. — The President's Tour through the Southern States. — 
Apportionment Bill. — Parties and tlieir Causes. — Dissensions 
between the Secretary of State and the Secretary of the Treasury. 

— Washington's Attempts to reconcile them 456 



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CONTENTS. xxi 



CHAPTER XVm. 

Washington is elected President for a Second Term. — Takes the 
Oath of Office. — Relations between the United States and France. 

— Opinions of the Cabinet. — Proclamation of Neutrality. — Party 
Divisions and Excitements. — Genet received as Minister from 
France. — His extraordinary Conduct — Democratic Societies. — 
Washington's Opinion of these Societies, and on the Subject of 
instructing Representatives. — Relations with England. — British 
Orders in Violation of Neutral Rights. — Meeting of Congress. — 
The President recommends Measures of Defence. — Character of 
Washington by Mr. Fox. — Letter from Lord Ersldne. — Commer- 
cial Affairs. — Mr. Madison's Commercial Resolutions. — Mr. Jay 
appointed Envoy Extraordinary to negotiate a Treaty with England. 

— Military Preparations. — Insurrection in Pennsylvania. — Meas- 
ures adopted by the President for suppressing it. — Plan for re- 
deeming the Public Debt 479 



CHAPTER XIX. 

The British Treaty ratified by the Senate. — Popular excitement re- 
specting it — The Treaty confirmed by the Signature of the Presi- 
dent — Resignation of Mr. Randolph. — Circumstances attending 
it — The President refuses to furnish Papers to the House of 
Representatives in relation to the British Treaty. — Captivity of 
Lajbyette, and Means used by Washington to procure his Libera- 
tion. — Difficulties with France in regard to the British Treaty. — 
Recall of Mr. Monroe. — Washington's Farewell Address. — His 
last Speech to Congress. — Inauguration of his Successor. — Testi- 
mony of Respect shown to him by the Citizens of Philadelphia. — 
He retires to Mount Vernon. — Remarks on Mr. Jefferson's Con- 
duct towards Washington. — Troubles with France. — Prepara- 
tions for War. — Washington chosen Commander-in-chief of the 
Provisional Army of the United States. — Organization and Ar- 
rangement of the Army. — His last Illness and Death. . . 503 

APPENDIX. 

I. Origin and Genealogy of the Washington Family 539 

II. Last nincsB and Death of Washington .555 

ni. Proceedings of Congress in Consequence of the Death of 

Washiagton ...... 563 

IV. Monumental Inscription 568 

V. Washington's Will ..... 569 



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xxii CONTENTS. 



PART FIRST. 

OFFICIAL LETTERS RELATING TO THE FRENCH 
WAR, AND PRIVATE LETTERS BEFORE THE AMER- 
ICAN REVOLUTION. 

VOLUME II. 
Correspondence from March, 1754, to May, 1775. 

APPENDIX. Pi«e 

I. Washington's Early Papers .... 411 

II. Death of Jumonville . . . .447 

ni. BatUe of the Great Meadows .... 456 

IV. Braddock's Defeat 468 

y. Address of the Officers to Colonel Washington, on his Re- 
signing the Command of the Virginia Forces . • 477 
VI. The Ohio Company ..... 478 

VII. Walpole*s Grant ...... 483 

VIII. Measures of the Virginia Hoose of Borgesses . 486 

IX. Fairfax County Resolves . .488 

X. American Independence ..... 496 

XI. Brief Extracts from a Diary . . . .603 

XII. Independent Companies ..... 606 

XIII. Extracts from Washington's Diary . .509 

XIV. Journal of a Tour to the Ohio River ... 616 



PART SECOND. 

CORRESPONDENCE AND MISCELLANEOUS PAPERS 
RELATING TO THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION. 

VOLUME III. 
Correspondence from June, 1775, to July, 1776. 
appendix. 

I. Washington's Appointment as Commander-in-chief of the 

American Army ...... 479 

U. General Washington's Arrival in Cambridge 484 

III. State of the Army at Cambridge when General Washington 

took the Command ..... 486 



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CONTENTS. XXm 

Page 
IV. RetaniB of the Army . . . . .493 

y. Indians ....... 494 

VI. Correspondence between General Charles Lee and General 

Borgojne ....... 496 

Vn. General Gage's Answer to General Washington . 500 

Vni. Accoont of Dr. Church's intercepted Letter . . 502 

IX. Correspondence between General Gage and Lord Dartmouth 606 

X. Marine Operations ...... 516 

XI. The Burning of Falmouth ..... 520 

XII. Imprisonment of James Lovell .... 522 

XIII. Lord Drummond ...... 525 

XIV. Evacuation of Boston . . .530 
XV. General Schuyler ...... 535 

VOLUME IV. 

Correspondence from July, 1776, to July, 1777, 
appendix. 

I. Memorandum of what passed at the Interview between his 
Ezcellenoj General Washington and Colonel Paterson, 
AdjutantrOeneral of the Army under General Howe, July 

20th, 1776 509 

II. Letter from General Howe to General Washington 512 

III. Letter from Lord Howe to General Washington 512 

IV. BatUe of Long Island . . 513 
V. American Loyalists in the British Service 519 

VI. Operations of the Army, and Battle of Chatterton's Hill 524 

VII. Letter from General Howe to General Washington . 529 

VIII. Capture of General Lee ..... 530 

IX. BatUe of Trenton 541 

X. Prisoners ....... 547 

XI. Washington's Dictatorial Powers .... 550 

XII. Letter from Lord Howe to General Washington . 552 

Xin. Letters from General Howe to General Washington . 555 

XIV. Letter fit>m General Howe to General Washington • 557 

XV. Letters from General Howe to General Washington 559 

VOLUME V. 

Correspondence from July, 1777, to July, 1778. 
appendix. 

I. Marquis de Lafayette's first Arriral in America . 445 
II. Battle of the Brandy wine .456 

III. Battle of Germantown ..... 463 

IV. Storming of Forts Montgomery and Clinton . . 471 
V. Dacha's Letter ...... 476 

VI. Particuiars respecting the Cabal which existed against Gen- 
eral Washington in Congress and in the Army . 483 



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XXiv CONTENTS. 

Page 

Vn. Letters from Sir William Howe to Geaeral Waahinfton . 518 

VIII. Letter from Greneral Burgoyne to Greneral Washington 521 

IX. Encampment at Valley Forge .... 522 

X. Baron Steuben ....... 526 

XI. Proposed Enterprise against Canada nnder the Marquis de 

Lafayette . . . . . .530 

XII. Letters from Sir William Howe to General Washington 535 

XIII. Letters from Sir William Howe to General Washington . 538 

XIV. Letter from the President of Congress to George Washington 539 
XV. British Forces in America ..... 542 

XVI. Afikir at Barren HiU 545 

XVII. Instructions to Sir Henry Clinton . .548 

XVIII. BatUe of Monmouth 552 

VOLUME VI. 

Correspondence from July, 1778, to March, 1780. 

appendix. 

I. Correspondence between the President of Congress and the 

Marquis de Laiayette ..... 501 

U. Letter from Sir Henry CUnton to General Washington 507 

III. Exchange of Prisoners ..... 508 

rV. General Amold*s Trial 514 

V. Lord North's Views at different Stages of the American War 531 

VI. Storming of Stony Point ..... 537 

VII. Substance of a Conference between General Washington and 

the Chevalier de la Luzerne .... 540 
VIII. Correspondence of the Marquis de Lafayette on American 

Affairs, after his first Return from America . . 545 

VOLUME VII. 

Correspondence from March, 1780, to April, 

1781. 

appendix. 

I. French Army in America under the Command of Count de 

Rochambeau ...... 477 

II. General Greene's Account of the Action at Springfield in 

New Jersey ....... 506 

lU. Memorandum for concerting a Plan of Operations with the 

French Army ...... 509 

IV. Letter from Count de Rochambeau to General Washington, 

on the Arrival of the French Army at Newport 511 

V. Letters from General Greene respecting the Quarter- 
master's Department ..... 612 

VI. Interview between the French Commanders and the Mar- 
quis de Lafiiyettc at Newport .... 515 



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CONTENTS. XXV 

Page 
Vll. Official Letters and other Papers relating to the Treason of 

Arnold ....... 520 

VIII. Letters concerning the Transactions of Lord Comwallis and 

Lord Rawdon in the Carolinas .... 562 

IX. Plan of an Attack on New York Island proposed by the 

Marquis de Lafayette ..... 556 

X. Rerolt of the New Jersey Line .560 

VOLUME VIII. 

CORRESPONDENCB FROM APRIL, 1781, TO DECEMBER, 

1783. 

APPENDIX. 

I. March of the Detachment under the Marquis de Lafayette 

to Virginia ...... 509 

II. Substance of a Conference between Greneral Washington and 

Count de Rochambeau at Weathersfield, May 22d, 1781 . 517 
m. Extracts from intercepted Letters written by Lord Greorge 

Germain to Sir Henry Clinton .... 519 

IV. Letter from Count de Orasse to Count de Rochambeau 522 

V. Letter from Captain Affleck to General Washington respect- 
ing Marine Prisoners ..... 523 

VI. Letters from Count de Vergennes to the Marquis de La- 
fayette 525 

VII. Letter from Count de Grasse to General Washington, con- 
cerning Operations in the Chesapeake 528 
VIII. Capitulation at Torktown . . ... 590 
IX. Letters on various Subjects frt>m Sir Ghiy Carleton to Gen- 
eral Washington . .536 
X. A Sketch of the State of Opinions in the old Congress, 

drawn up by Mr. Madison .... 547 

XI. Letter from Count de Vergennes to General Washington, 

respecting Captain Asgill ..... 549 
Xn. Newburg Addresses ..... 551 

XIII. Orders issued by Greneral Washington to the Army, an- 
nouncing the Cessation of Hostilities . 567 
XrV. Order of the Public Audience of General Washington in 
Congress, and the President's Answer to his Address <a 
resigning his Commission ..... 569 
XV. General Washington's Expenses while acting as Commander- 
in-chief of the American Armies .... 571 



VOL. I. 



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XXvi CONTENTS. 



PART THIRD. 

PRIVATE LETTERS FROM THE TIME WASHINGTON 
RESIGNED HIS COMMISSION AS COMMANDER-IN- 
CHIEF OF THE ARMY TO THAT OF HIS INAUGU- 
RATION AS PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES. 

VOLUME IX. 

Correspondence from December, 1783, to April, 

1789. 

APPENDIX. P>«« 

I. First General Meeting of the Society of tiie Cindmiati 495 

J I. Respecting the Propoaitions for investing Congreai with 

Additional Powers for Conunercial Purposes . 501 

III. Opinions of Jay, Knox, and Madison, respecting the Prin- 

ciples and Features of a New Form of CtoTemment 510 

IV. An Abstract of the General Princij^s of Ancient and Mod- 

em Confederacies ...... 521 

V. Extracts from General Washington's Diary 538 

VI. Mr. Madison's Remarks on tbe Constitutioo, And R^y to 

George Mason'iB Objections .... 542 

VII. Letters from Madison, Iiee, and Lincola. on the Location 
of the Seat of Government, Choice of the President, and 
other Topics ...... 549 



PART FOURTH. 

LETTERS OFFICIAL AND PRIVATE, FROM THE BE- 
GINNING OF HIS PRESIDENCY TO THE END OF 
HIS LIFE. 

VOLUME X. 

Correspondence from May, 1789, to November, 

1794. 

appendix. 

I. Appointment of Qeotge Washington as President of the 

United States ...... 459 

II. Queries by the President, respecting the System of Conduct 

to be adopted by him in hb Private Intercourse 464 



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CONTENTS. xxvii 

Pufe 

III. Remarks of the French Minifter on the Mode of InteFCoarse 

to be pursued between him and the President . 469 

IV. Washington's Habit in reading Despatches and other Im- 

portant Papers ...... 473 

V. Sentiments expressed by the President to the Committee 

from the Senate, appointed to confer with him on the 

Mode of Communication between the President and the 

Senate respecting Treaties and Nominations . 484 

VI. Letter from the Qovemor of Rhode Island, giving Rear 

sons why that State did not accede to the Union 487 

VII. Washington's Visit to Boston, on his Tour through the 

Eastern States . . .489 

VIII. Communications from Major Beckwith to the Secretary of 

the Treasury ...... 494 

IX. Letter from the National Assembly of France to the Presi- 
dent of the United States .... 497 

X. Letter from John Jay to President Washington 499 

XI. Letter from Lafayette to President Washington, respecting 

the State of Affairs in France .... 502 

XII. Letters from Jefferson, Hamilton, and Randolph, urging 
President Washington to consent to be a Candidate for 
a Second Election ...... 504 

Xni. On the Dissensions in the Cabinet, and the Private Differ- 
ences between Hamilton and Jefferson . . 515 
XIV. Proceedings of the Executive in Consequence of the Vio- 
lation of the Excise Law ..... 526 

XV. Questions submitted by the President to the Cabinet, re- 
specting a Proclamation of Neutrality, and the Reception 
of a French Minister ..... 533 

XVI. Minutes of a Conversation between Mr. Jefferson, Secre- 
tary of State, and M. Genet . . . .536 

XVII. Letter from Henry Lee to President Washington 540 

XVIII. Questions submitted by the President to the Judges of the 

Supreme Court ...... 542 

XIX. Rules adopted by the Cabinet as to the Equipment of Ves- 
sels in the Porta of the United States by Belligerent 
Powers, and Proceedings on the Conduct of the French 
Minister ....... 546 

XX. Opinions of Jefferson, Hamilton, and Madison, as to the 
Power of the President to convene Congress at any other 
Place, than that to which they have adjourned 549 

XXI. Letter from Alexander Hamilton to President Washington 554 
XXn. On the Appointment of an Envoy Extraordinary to the 

Court of Great Britain . .557 

XXin. Letters from Henry Lee and Patrick Henry 560 



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XXVlil CONTENTS. 



VOLUME XI. 

Correspondence from November, 1794, to De- 
cember, 1799. 

APPENDIX. Pu» 

I. Saggefltioni for ettablishiiig a College, to be lupplied with 

Profetson from Europe ..... 473 

n. Notes submitted to the Consideration of the President in 

Regard to the British Treaty .... 477 

III. Edmund Randolph's Resignation of the Office of Secretary 

of State ....... 479 

IV. Remarks of John Jay on certain Points of the British Treaty 481 
y. Opinions of the Cabinet advising Mr. Monroe's Recall from 

France 483 

VI. Letter from the Secretary of State to President Washington 488 
VII. Papers relating to the Imprisonment of Lafayette at Olmutz 489 
VIII. Letter to Washington, signed with the Fictitious Name of 

John Langhome .• . . 501 

IX. Lafayette's Answer to the Proposal of the Austrian Minis- 
ter, that he should be released from the Prison of Olmutz 
on certain Conditions ..... 502 

X. Remarl^s of Washington on Monroe's " View of the Con- 
duct of the Executive of the United States/* copied from 
Manuscript Notes ...... 504 

XI. Letters respecting the Appointment of Washington as Com- 
mander-in-Chief of the Provisional Army . . 530 
XII. Letters from Knox, Hamilton, and Pickering, on Military 

Rank in the Provisional Army .... 534 

XIII. On the Relative Rank of the Major- Generals in the Pro- 

visional Army ...... 542 

XIV. Letter from President Adams to Washington . . 548 
XV. Sketch of the Quotas of Troops to be furnished for the 

Provisional Army in the Southern States . 549 

XVI. Replies of General Knox and General Pinckney to the 
Secretary of War, on the Subject of their Appointment 
in the Provisional Army ..... 550 
XVII. Questions proposed by the Secretary of War to the Com- 
mander-in-Chief of the Provisional Army . 552 
XVIII. Political Opinions of Patrick Henry . . .556 
XIX. Considerations on the Political Relations between the United 

States and France, in a Letter from Joel Barlow 560 

XX. Instructions from the Secretary of War to the Inspector- 
General of the Provisional Army . . 563 
XXI. On the Diversity of Opinions in the Cabinet, relative to a 

Mission to France ..... 572 



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CONTENTS. xxix 



PART FIFTH. 

SPEECHES AND MESSAGES TO CONGRESS, PROCLA- 
MATIONS, AND ADDRESSES. 

VOLUME XII. 

Pafe 

Speeches to Congress • • . . 1 

Messages to Congress 79 

Proclamations 119 

Addresses 137 

appendix. 

I. CORRBSPONDKNCS OK AGRICULTURE, AtTATBA OF BUSOTESS, 

AND Miscellaneous Topics • . . • 251 

II. A^cultural Papers'* . . . . .336 

III. ConcernlD^r Washington's Farewell Address . 383 

IV. Religions Opinions and Habits of Washington . 399 
V. Names and Rank of the General Officers of the Continental 

Army in the Revolution ..... 41£ 

VI. Names of Greneral Washington's Aids-de-Camp during the 

Revolution ...... 415 

VU. Governors or Chief Magistrates of the several Colonies and 

States during the Public Life of Washington . . 416 

Vni. Members of Congress before the Adoption of the Consti- 
tution . . . ' . 420 
IX. Members of the Convention which formed the Constitution 

of the United States in 1787 . . .426 

X. Senators and Representatives in Congress during Wash- 
ington's Administration ..... 427 

XI. Washington's Cabinet during his Presidency . 432 

XII. Justices of the Supreme Court of the United States during 

Washington's Administration .... 433 

XIII. American Ministers and Diplomatic Agents at Foreign Courts 

during Washington's Administration . , 433 

INDEXES. 

I. Letters written by Washington to Individuals and Public 

Bodies 437 

II. Letters addressed to Washington by Various Persons 465 

III. Miscellaneous Letters relating to Subjects mentioned in 

Washington's Writings ..... 471 

IV. Speeches and Messages to Congress .... 477 
V. Proclamations ...... 478 

VI. Addresses ...."!.. 479 

Vn. General Index ...... 483 



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LIST OF THE PLATES. 



▼ol. Plf*. 

1. Portnit of Waahington, FroBtifpiM«, I. 

5. Facaimile of Matbemttical Drmwinp, — 8 

3. Facsimile of the Title of t Book of Surrejt, — H 

4. BatUe of the Great Meadowa, » 66 

6. Portrait of Mra. Waahingtoa, — 106 

6. Cop7 of a Gold Medal preaeoted to General Waahington bj Coagveae, 

on the ETaonation of Boatoo, — 1*74 

7. Order of Battle, for 1781, — 348 

8. Portrait of Waahington, by Staart, .... Frontiapiece, n. 

9. Facdmile of Waahington'a Handwriting, . Introduction, — xri 

K). Military Operationa in Pennsylvania, — 38 

11. Battle at Braddook*a Defeat, .90 

15. Military Operationa in Virginia, — 110 

13. Line of March in Forbea's Expedition, — 314 

14. Hoodon's Boat of Waahington, .... Frontispieoe, III. 

16. Plan of Boaton and ita Environs, in 1775, — 96 

16. Battle on Long laland, IV. 68 

17. Fort Waahington and Haerlem Heighta, .96 

18. Military Operations after the Evacuation of New York, . . . 160 

19. Battles of Trenton and Princeton, — 268 

20. Military Movements in New Jersey, •— 266 

21. Battle of the Brandy wine, V. 58 

22. Military Movements in Pennsylvania, — 66 

23. Battle of Germantown, .86 

24. Attack on Fort Clinton, — 92 

25. Operationa on the Delaware River, — 156 

26. Encampment at Valley Forge, |96 

27. Retreat of Lafkyette from Barren Hill, — 378 

28. Battle of Monmovth, — 490 

29. Military Works at Stony Point and Verplanck's Point, . VI. 304 

SO. Operations on Hudson's River, VII. 216 

31. Operations in Virginia, VIII. 158 

31 PlanoftheSiegeof Torktown, — 186 

33. Head of Mrs. Washington, by Staart, . Frontispiece, XII. 

34. Plan of the Farms at Mount Vernon, — 316 



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LIFE 



OF 



GEORGE WASHINGTON, 



CHAPTER I. 

Origin of the Washington Family. — John and Lawrence Washington 
emigrate to America. — Birth of George Washington. — His early Ed- 
ucation. — His Fondness for mathematical Studies and athletic Amuse- 
ments, and his methodical Habits. — A Project formed for his entering 
the British Navy as a Midshipman. — He becomes a practical Sur- 
veyor. ^ Engages in the Employment of Lord Fairfax. — Continues the 
Business of Surveying for three Years. — Appointed Adjutajit of one 
of the Districts in Virginia, — ^Voyage to Baxbadoes with his Brother. 

The name of Washington, as applied to a family, 
is proved from authentic records to have been firet 
known about the middle of the thirteenth century. 
There was previously a manor of that name in the 
County of Durham, in England, the proprietor of 
which, according to a custom not unusual in those 
days, took the name of his estate. From this gen- 
tleman, who was originally called William de Hert- 
bum, have descended the branches of the Washing- 
ton family, which have since spread themselves over 
various parts of Great Britain and America. 

Few mdividuals of the family have attained to such 
eminence in the eye of the public, as to give perpe- 
tuity to the memory of their deeds or their charac- 
ter; yet, in the local histories of England, the name 
is frequently mentioned with respect, and as denoting 

VOL. I. I A 



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2 LIFE OF WASHINGTON. 

persons of consideration, wealth, and mfluence. Among 
them were scholars, divines, and lawyers, well known 
to their cotemporaries. Several received the honors 
of knighthood. Sir Henry Washington is renowned 
for his bravery and address in sustaining the siege of 
Worcester against the Parliamentary forces during the 
civil wars, and is commended by Clarendon for his 
good conduct at the taking of Bristol. For the most 
part it would appear, however, from such facts as can 
now be ascertained, that the heads of families were 
substantial proprietors of lands, residing on their es- 
tates, and holding a reputable station m the higher 
class of agriculturists. Proofs of their opulence may 
still be seen in the monuments erected in churches, 
and the records of the transfer of property. 

In the year 1538, the manor of Sulgrave, in North- 
amptonshire, was granted to Lawrence Washington, 
of Gray's Inn, and for some time Mayor of Northamp- 
ton. He was probably bom at Warton, in Lancashire, 
where his father lived. The grandson of this first 
proprietor of Sulgrave, who was of the same name, 
had many children, two of whom, that is, John and 
Lawrence Washington, being the second and fourth 
sons, emigrated to Virginia about the year 1657, and 
settled at Bridge's Creek, on the Potomac River, in 
the County of Westmoreland. The eldest brother. 
Sir William Washmgton, married a half-sister of George 
Villiers, Duke of Buckmgham. Lawrence had been a 
student at Oxford. John had resided on an estate at 
South Cave m Yorkshire, which gave rise to an erro- 
neous tradition among his descendants, that their an- 
cestor came from the North of England. The two 
brothers bought lands in Virginia, and became suc- 
cessful planters. 

John Washington, not long after coming to Ameri- 



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LIFE OP WASHINGTON. 3 

ca, was employed m a military command against the 
Indians, and rose to the rank of Colonel. The parish 
in which he lived was also named after him. He 
married Anne Pope, by whom he had two sons, Law- 
rence and John, and a daughter. The elder son, Law- 
rence, married Mildred Warner, of Gloucester County, 
and had three children, John, Augustine, and Mildred. 

Augustine Washbgton, the second son, was twice 
married. His first wife was Jane Butler, by whom 
he had three sons and a daughter; Butler, who died 
in infancy, Lawrence, Augustme, and Jane, the last of 
whom died likewise when a child. By his second 
wife, Mary Ball, to whom he was married on the 6th 
of March, 1730, he had six children, George, Betty, 
Samuel, John Augustine, Charies, and Mildred. George 
Washington was bom in Westmoreland County, Vir- 
ginia, on the 22d of February, 1732, bemg the eldest 
son by the second marriage, great-grandson of John 
Washington, who emigrated to America, and the sixth 
in descent torn the first Lawrence Washington of 
Sulgrave. 

At the time of George Washington's birth, his fa- 
ther resided near the banks of the Potomac in West- 
moreland County; but he removed not long afterwards 
to an estate owned by him in Stafford County, on the 
east side of the Rappahannoc River, opposite Freder- 
icksburg. Here he lived till his death, which hap- 
pened, after a sudden and short illness, on the 12th 
of April, 1743, at the age of forty-nine. He was bur- 
ied at Bridge's Creek, in the tomb of his ancestors. 
Little is known of his character or his acts. It ap- 
pears by his will, however, that he possessed a large 
and valuable property in lands; and, as this had been 
acquired chiefly by his own industry and enterprise, 
it may be inferred, that, in the concerns of business, he 



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4 LIFE OF WASHINGTON. 

was methodical, skilful, honorable, and energetic. His 
occupation was that of a planter, which, from the first 
settlement of the country, had been the pursuit of 
nearly all the principal gendemen of Virginia, 

Each of his sons inherited from him a separate plan- 
tation. To the eldest, Lawrence, he bequeathed an 
estate near Hunting Creek, afterwards Mount Vernon, 
which then consisted of twenty-five hundred acres ; 
and also other lands, and shares in iron-works situ- 
ated in Virginia and Maryland, which were productive. 
The second son had for his part an estate in West- 
moreland. To George were left the lands and mansion 
where his father lived at the time of his decease; and 
to each of the other sons an estate of six or seven 
hundred acres. The youngest daughter died when an 
infant, and for the only remaming one a suitable pro- 
vision was made in the will It is thus seen, that 
Augustme Washington, although suddenly cut oflF in 
the vigor of manhood, left all his children in a state 
of comparative independence. Confiding in the pru- 
dence of the mother, he directed that the proceeds 
of all the property of her children should be at her 
dbposal, till they should respectively come of age. 

This weighty charge of five young children, the 
eldest of whom was eleven years old, the superintend- 
ence of their education, and the management of com- 
plicated afiiaurs, demanded no common share of reso- 
lution, resource of mind, and strength of character. In 
these unportant duties Mrs. Washmgton acquitted her- 
self with great fidelity to her trust, and with entire 
success. Her good sense, assiduity, tenderness, and 
vigilance overcame every obstacle; and, as the richest 
reward of a mother's solicitude and toil, she had the 
happiness to see all her children come forward with 
a fair promise into life, fiHing the sphere allotted to 



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LIFE OP WASHINGTON. O 

them in a manner equally honorable to themselves, 
and to the parent who had been the only guide of 
their principles, conduct, and habits. She lived to wit- 
ness the noble career of her eldest son, till by his 
own rare merits he was raised to the head of a na- 
tion, and applauded and revered by the whole world. 
It has been said, that there never was a great man, 
the elements of whose greatness might not be traced 
to the original characteristics or early influence of his 
mother. If this be true, how much do mankmd owe 
to the mother of Washington. 

Under the colonial governments, particularly m the 
southern provinces, the means of education were cir- 
cumscribed. The thinness of population, and the 
broad line which separated the rich from the poor, 
prevented the establishment of schools on such a basis 
as would open the door of mstruction to all classes, 
and thus prepare the way for higher seminaries of 
leammg. Young men destined for the learned pro- 
fessions, whose parents could afford the expense, were 
occasionally sent to England. But the planters gen- 
erally sought no other education for their sons, than 
such as would fit them to be practical men of busi- 
ness. In a few cases, this was derived from a private 
tutor ; m others, from a teacher of the common schools, 
whose qualifications would naturally be limited to the 
demands of his employers, and who was seldom com- 
petent to impart more than the simplest elements of 
knowledge. When he had inculcated the mysteries 
of reading, writing, arithmetic, and keeping accounts, 
his skill was exhausted, and the duties of his vocation 
were fiilfilled. If his pupils aspired to higher attain- 
ments, they were compelled to leave their master be- 
hind, and find their way without a guide. 

To a school of this description was George Wash- 



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6 LIFE OP WASHINGTON. 

ington indebted for all the aids his mind received in 
its eariy discipline and culture. How far he profited 
by these slender advantages, or was distmguished for 
his application and love of study, can only be conjec- 
tured fix)m the results. Tradition reports, that he was 
inquisitive, docile, and diligent; but it adds, that his 
military propensities and passion for active sports dis- 
played themselves in his boyhood; that he formed his 
schoolmates into companies, who paraded, marched, 
and fought mimic battles, in which he was always the 
commander of one of the parties. He had a fondness 
for the athletic amusements of running, jumping, wrest- 
ling, tossmg bars, and other feats of agility and bodily 
exercise. Indeed it is weU known, that these prac- 
tices were continued by him after he had arrived at 
the age of mature life. It has also been said, that 
while at school his probity and demeanor were such, 
as to win the deference of the other boys, who were 
accustomed to make him the arbiter of their disputes, 
and never failed to be satisfied with his judgment 
Such are some of the incidents of his juvenile years, 
remembered and related by his cotemporaries after 
he had risen to greatness. 

There are not wanting evidences of his eariy profi- 
ciency in some branches of study. His manuscript 
school-books, fi-om the tune he was thirteen years old, 
have been preserved. He had akeady mastered the 
difficult parts of arithmetic, and these books begin with 
geometry. But there is one, of a previous date, which 
deserves notice, as giving an msight mto the original 
cast of his mind, and the subjects to which his educa- 
tion was directed. It is singular, that a boy of thir- 
teen should occupy himself in studying the dry and 
intricate forms of business, which are rarely attended 
to till the affairs of life call them into use, and even 



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LIFE OP WASHINGTON. 7 

then rather as an act of necessity than of pleasure. 
But many pages of the manuscript in question are 
taken up with copies of what he calls Forms of Writ- 
ingy such as notes of hand, bills of exchange, receipts, 
bonds, indentures, bills of sale, land warrants, leases, 
deeds, and wills, written out with care, the prominent 
words in large and varied characters in imitation of a 
clerk's hand. Then follow selections in rhyme, more 
distinguished for the sentiments they contain, and the 
religious tone that pervades them, tiban for their poet- 
ical beauties* 

But the most remarkable part of the book is that, 
in which is compiled a system of maxims, and regu- 
lations of conduct, drawn from miscellaneous sources, 
and arranged under the head of Rules of Behaviour 
in Company and Conversation. Some of these are un- 
important, and suited only to form the habits of a 
child ; others are of a higher import, fitted to soften 
and polish the manners, to keep alive the best affec- 
tions of the heart, to impress the obligation of the 
moral virtues, to teach what is due to others in the 
social relations, and above all to inculcate the practice 
of a perfect self-control. 

In studying the character of Washington it is obvi- 
ous, that this code of rules had an influence upon his 
whole life. His temperament was ardent, his passions 
strong, and, amidst the multiplied scenes of temptation 
and excitement through which he passed, it was his 
constant effort and ultimate triumph to check the one 
and subdue the other. His intercourse with men, pri- 
vate and public, in every walk and station, was marked 
with a consistency, a fitness to occasions, a dignity, 
decorum, condescension, and mildness, a respect for 
the claims of others, and a delicate perception of the 
nicer shades of civility, which were not more the die- 



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8 LIFE OP WASHINGTON. 

tales of his native good sense and incomparable judg- 
ment, than the fruits of a long and unwearied disciplme. 

He left school in the autumn preceding his six- 
teenth birth-day. The last two years had been devot- 
ed to the study of geometry, trigonometry, and sur- 
veying, for which he had a decided partiality. It is 
probable, also, that his friends, discovering this inclina- 
tion, encouraged him in yielding to it, with the view 
of qualify mg him for* the profession of a surveyor, which 
was then a lucrative employment, and led to oppor- 
tunities of selecting valuable new lands. During the 
last summer he was at school, we find hhn surveying 
the fields around the school-house and in the adjoin- 
ing plantations, of which the boundaries, angles, and 
measurements, the plots and calculations, are entered 
with formality and precision in his books. 

Nor was his skill confined to the more simple pro- 
cesses of the art He used logarithms, and proved 
the accuracy of his work by difierent methods. The 
manuscripts fill several quires of paper, and are re- 
markable for the care with which they were kept, the 
neatness and uniformity of the handwritmg, the beau- 
ty of the diagrams, and a precise method and arrange- 
ment m copying out tables and columns of figures. 

These particulars will not be thought too trivial to 
be mentioned, when it is known, that he retained sim- 
ilar habits through life. His business papers, day- 
books, legers, and letter-books, in which before the 
revolution no one wrote but himself, exhibit speci- 
mens of the same studious care and exactness. Every 
fact occupies a clear and distinct place, the hand- 
writing is round and regular, without interlineations, 
blots, or blemishes; and, if mistakes occurred, the 
faulty words were so skilfully erased and corrected, as 
to render the defect invisible except to a scrutinizing 



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Ait. 16. 




C? 
F 

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t;.//; //.nv:.v// X- 



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THE UBW YORK 
PUBLIC LIBRARY 



18T0R, LENOX, A>:n 
TILDEN FOUNDATIONS 
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LIFE OP WASHINGTON. 9 

eye. The constructing of tables, diagrams, and other 
figures relating to numbers or classification, was an 
exercise in which he seems at all times to have tak- 
en much delight. If any of his farms were to be di- 
vided into new lots, a plan was first drawn on paper ; 
if he meditated a rotation of crops, or a change in 
the mode of culture, the various items of expense, 
labor, products, and profits were reduced to tabular 
forms; and in his written instructions to his mana- 
gers, which were annually repeated, the same method 
was pursued. 

While at the head of the army this habit was of es- 
pecial service to him. The names and rank of the 
officers, the returns of the adjutants, commissaries, and 
quartermasters, were compressed by him into syste- 
matic tables, so contrived as to fix strongly in his mind 
the most essential parts, without being encumbered 
with details. When the army was to march, or per- 
form any movements requiring combination and con- 
cert, a scheme was first delineated; and at the be- 
gmning of an active campaign, or m the preparation 
for a detached enterprise, the line of battle was pro- 
jected and sketched on paper, each officer being as- 
signed to his post, with the names of the regiments 
and strength of the forces he was to command. 

During the presidency it was likewise his custom to 
subject the treasury reports and accompanying docu- 
ments to the process of tabular condensation, with a 
vast expenditure of labor and patience ; but it enabled 
him to grasp and retain in their order a series of iso- 
lated facts, and the results of a complicated mass of 
figures, which could never have been mastered so 
efiectually by any other mode of approachmg thenL 
Such were some of the benefits of tiiose parts of his 

VOL. I. 2 



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10 LIFE OP WASHINGTON. 

education, to which he was led by the natural bent 
of his mmd. 

Except the above branches of the mathematics, his 
acquirements did not extend beyond the subjects usually 
taught to boys of his age at the common schools. It 
is even doubtful whether he received any instruction 
m the principles of language. His earliest compositions 
were often faulty in grammatical construction. By 
practice, reading, and study, he gradually overcame 
this defect, till at length he wrote with accuracy, pu- 
rity of idiom, and a striking appropriateness of phrase- 
ology and clearness of style. In the choice of his 
words, to express precisely and forcibly his meaning, 
he was always scrupulous. In this respect his lan- 
guage may be said to have reflected the image of 
his mind, in which candor, sincerity, and directness 
were prevailmg traits. 

No aid was derived from any other than his native 
tongue. He never even commenced the study of the 
ancient classics. After the French oflScers had joined 
the American army in the revolution, and particularly 
while the forces under Count Rochambeau were in 
the country, he bestowed some degree of attention on 
that language ; but at no time could he write or con- 
verse in it, or indeed translate any paper. 

While at school a project was entertained by his 
friends, which, if it had been matured, would have 
changed his own destmy, and perhaps have produced 
an important influence upon that of his country. His 
eldest brother, Lawrence, had been an oSicev in the 
late war, and served at the siege of Carthagena and 
in the West Indies. Being a well-informed and ac- 
complished gentleman, he had acquired the esteem 
and confidence of General Wentworth and Admiral 
Vernon, the commanders of the expedition, with whom 



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LIFE OP WASHINGTON. H 

he afterwards kept up a friendly correspondence. Hav- 
ing observed the military turn of his young brother, 
and looking upon the British navy as the most direct 
road to distinction in that line, he obtained for George 
a midshipman's warrant, m the year 1746, when he 
was fourteen years old. This step was taken with his 
acquiescence, if not at his request, and he prepared 
with a buoyant spirit for his departure ; but, as the 
time approached, the solicitude of his mother inter- 
posed with an authority, to which nature gave a claim. 

At this critical juncture, Mr. Jackson, a friend of the 
family, wrote to Lawrence Washington as follows. "I 
am afraid Mrs. Washmgton will not keep up to her 
first resolution. She seems to dislike George's gomg 
to sea, and says sev^^ persons have told her it was 
a bad scheme. She offers several trifling objections, 
such as fond, unthinking mothers habituaJly suggest; 
and I find, that one word against his going has more 
weight than ten for it." She persisted in opposing the 
plan, and it was given up. Not ought this decision 
to be ascribed to obstinacy, or maternal weakness. 
This was her eldest son, whose character and man- 
ners must already have exhibited a promise, full of 
solace and hope to a widowed mother, on whom alone 
devolved the charge of four younger children. To 
see him separated torn her at so tender an age, ex- 
posed to the perils of accident and the world's rough 
usage, without a parent's voice to counsel or a parent's 
hand to guide, and to enter on a theatre of action, 
which would for ever remove him fix)m her presence, 
was a trial of her fortitude and sense of duty, which 
she could not be expected to hazard without reluc- 
tance and concern. 

Soon after leavmg school, he went to reside with 
his brother Lawrence at his seat on the Potomac River, 



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12 LIFE OP WASHINGTON. [174a 

which had been called Mount Vernon, in compUment 
to the admiral of that name. The winter was passed 
in his favorite study of the mathematics, and in the 
exercise of practical surveying, merely with the view 
of becoming familiar with the application of principles 
and the use of mstruments. At this time he was in- 
troduced to Lord Fairfax, and other members of the 
Fairfax family, established in that part of Virginia. 

Lawrence Washington had married a daughter of 
William Fairfax, a genfleman of consideration on ac- 
count of his wealth, character, and political station, be- 
ing many years a member and for some time president 
of his Majesty's Council in the Colony. His seat was 
at Belvoir, a short distance from Mount Vernon. He 
had an interestmg family of several sons and daugh- 
ters, intelligent and cultivated, with whom George as- 
sociated on terms of intimacy, and fcomed attachments 
that were ever after valuable to him. In the father 
he found a friend and adviser, as well as a man skilled 
in afiairs, of wide experience, and of an enlightened 
understanding. To his fortunate acquaintance with this 
family he was mainly indebted for the opportunities of 
performing those acts, which laid the foundation of his 
subsequent successes and advancement 

Lord Fairfax, a distant relative of William Fairfax, 
was a man of an eccentric turn of mind, of great pri- 
vate worth, generous, and hospitable. He had been 
accustomed to the best society to which his rank en- 
titled hun in England. While at the University of 
Oxford he had a fondness for literature, and his taste 
and skill in that line may be mferred from his having 
written some of the papers in the Spectator. Pos- 
sessing by inheritance a vast tract of country, situate 
between the Potomac and Rappahannoc Rivers, and 
stretching across the Allegany Mountains, he made a 



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Mt.16.] life op WASHINGTON. 13 

voyage to Virginia to examine this domain. So well 
pleased was he with the climate and mode of life, that 
he resolved, after going back to England and arranging 
his affairs, to return and spend his days in the midst 
of this wild territory. 

At the time of which we are now speaking, he 
had just arrived to execute his purpose, and was re- 
siding with his relative at Belvoir. This was his home 
for several years; but he at length removed over the 
Blue Ridge, built a house in the Shenandoah valley, 
called Greenway Courty and cultivated a large farm. 
Here he lived in comparative seclusion, often amusing 
himself with hunting, but chiefly devoted to the care 
of his estate, to acts of benevolence among his ten- 
ants, and to such public duties as devolved upon him, 
m the narrow sphere he had chosen ; a friend of lib- 
erty, honored for his uprightness, esteemed for the 
amenity of his manners and his practical virtues. He 
died at the advanced age of ninety-two, near the close 
of the American revolution. 

William Fairfax was bom in England. He jomed 
the army in early life, and served in Spain; went 
next to the East Indies, and afterwards took part in 
an expedition against the Island of New Providence. 
He was successively governor of that Island, and chief 
justice of the Bahamas ; and was thence transferred 
at his request to an office in New England. While 
there, he )ielded to the solicitation of Lord Fairfax to 
take the agency of his affairs in Virginia, and had 
been several years in that employment, when the lat- 
ter assumed the charge into his own hands. 

The immense tracts of wild lands, belongmg to 
Lord Fairfax in the rich valleys of the Allegany Moun- 
tams, had not been surveyed. Settlers were finding 
their way up the streams, selecting the fertile places, 

B 



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14 LIFE OP WASHINGTON. [1748. 

and securing an occupancy without warrant or license. 
To enable the proprietor to claim his quitrents and 
give legal titles, it was necessary that those lands 
should be divided mto lots and accurately measured. 
So favorable an opinion had he formed of the abilities 
and attainments of young Washington, that he intrust- 
ed to him this responsible service; and he set off on 
his first surveying expedition in March, just a month 
from the day he was sixteen years old,, accompanied 
by George Fairfax, the eldest son of William Fairfax. 

The enterprise was arduous, requiring discretion and 
skill, and attended with privations and fatigues to which 
he had not been accustomed. After crossing the first 
range of the Alleganies, the party entered a wilderness. 
From that time their nights were passed under the 
open sky, or in tents or rude cabins affording but a 
treacherous shelter against the inclemency of the 
weather. The winds sometimes beat upon them, and 
prostrated them to the ground. Wmter still lingered 
on the summits of the mountains ; the rivers, swollen 
by melting snows and recent rains, were impassable 
at the usual fords, except by swunming the horses; 
the roads and paths through the woods were ob- 
structed by swamps, rocks, and precipices. The lands 
surveyed by him lay on the South Branch of the 
Potomac, seventy miles above its junction with the 
otlier branch of that river. 

The task was executed in such a manner, as to 
give entire satisfaction to his employer, confirm the 
good opinion df his fiiends, and establish his reputa- 
tion as a surveyor. On other accounts it was benefi- 
cial to him. It mspired a ccmfidence in hunsel^ kindled 
fi^sh hopes, and prepared the way for new successes. 
He had moreover acquired a knowledge of parts of 
the country hitherto little known, which were to be 



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JULY 22 J74^ 




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^T.17.] LIFE OP WASHINGTON. 15 

the scene of his first military operations ; and had 
witnessed modes of life, with which it was necessary 
for him to become familiar in fulfilling the high trusts 
that awaited him. During this expedition he was also 
present at an Indian war-dance, and had his first m- 
terview with a race, on whose condition in peace and 
war he was to have a wider influence than any other 
man. 

Having received a conmiission, or appomtment, as 
a public surveyor, which gave authority to his surveys 
and enabled him to enter them m the county oflices, 
he devoted three years to this pursuit, without any 
intervals of relaxation except the winter months. Por- 
tions of each year were passed among the Alleganies, 
where he surveyed lands on branches of the Potomac 
River, which penetrated far in a southern direction 
among the lofty ridges and spurs of those moun- 
t£uns. The exposures and hardships of these expe- 
ditions could be endured only for a few weeks to- 
gether. As a relief, he would come down into the 
settled parts, and survey private tracts and farms, thus 
applying himself to the uninterrupted exercise of his 
profession. 

There being few surveyors at that time in Virginia, 
and the demand for them large, the pay allowed for 
their services was proportionably high. By diligence 
and habits of despatch, the employment was lucrative ; 
and, what was more unportant, his probity and talents 
for business were at a very early age made known to 
gentiemen, whose standing in society rendered their 
friendship and interest a substantial benefit. During 
these three years his home was with his brother at 
Mount Vernon, as being nearer the scene of his la- 
bors than his mother's residence; but he often visit- 
ed her, and assisted in the superintendence of her 
affairs. 



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16 LIFE OP WASHINGTON. [1751. 

At the age of nineteen his character had made so 
favorable an impression, that he was appointed to an 
office of considerable distinction and responsibility by 
the government of Virginia. The frontiers were threat- 
ened with Indian depredations and French encroach- 
ments, and, as a precautionary measure, it was resolved 
to put the militia in a condition for defence. To carry 
this into effect, the province was divided mto districts, 
having in each an officer called an adjutant-general with 
the rank of major, whose duty it was to assemble and 
exercise the militia, inspect their arms, and enforce 
all the regulations for disciplme prescribed by the laws. 
George Washington was commissioned to take charge 
of one of these districts. The post was probably ob- 
tained through the influence of his brother and Wil- 
liam Fairfax, the former a delegate in the House of 
Burgesses, the latter a member of the governor's Coun- 
cil. The pay was one hundred and fifty pounds a 
year. 

His military propensities had not subsided. They 
rather increased with his years. In Virginia were 
many officers, besides his brother, who had served in 
the recent war. Under their tuition he studied tac- 
tics, learned the manual exercise, and became expert 
in the use of the sword. He read the principal books 
on the military art, and jomed practice to theory as 
far as circumstances would permit This new station, 
therefore, was in accordance with his inclmations, and 
he entered upon it with alacrity and zeal. 

But he had scarcely engaged in this service, when 
he was called to perform another duty, deeply mter- 
esting in its claims on his sensibility and fraternal af- 
fection. Lawrence Washington, origmally of a slender 
constitution, had been for some time suffering under 
a pulmonary attack, which was now thought to be 



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^T. 19.] LIFE OP WASHINGTON. 17 

approaching a dangerous crisis. The physicians rec- 
ommended a voyage to the West Indies, and the 
experiment of a warmer climate. The necessity of 
having some friend near him, and his attachment to 
Greorge, were reasons for desiring his company. They 
sailed for Barbadoes in the month of September, 1751, 
and landed on that island after a passage of five weeks. 

The change of air, the hospitality of the inhabitants, 
the novelty of the scene, and the assiduous attentions 
of his brother, revived the spirits of the patient, and 
seemed at first to renovate his strength. But the hope 
was delusive, and the old symptoms returned. The 
trial of a few weeks produced no essential alteration for 
the better ; and he determined to proceed to Bermuda 
m the spring, and that in the mean time his brother 
should go back to Virginia, and accompany his wife 
to that island. Accordingly, George took passage in 
a vessel bound to the Chesapeake, and, after encoun- 
tering a most tempestuous voyage, reached home in 
February, having been absent somewhat more than 
four months. 

He had been but a short time in Barbadoes, when 
he was seized with the small-pox. The disease was 
severe, but, with the aid of good medical attendance, 
he was able to go abroad in three weeks. The jour- 
nal kept by him during the two voyages and at Bar- 
badoes, figments of which have been preserved, shows 
the same habits of minute observation and power of 
deducing general results from small particulars, which 
distinguished him on all occasions. At sea he daily 
copied the log-book, noted the course of the winds, 
the state of the weather, the progress of the ship, and 
incidental occurrences, applying to navigation the knowl- 
edge he had gained of a kindred art. In the Island 
of Barbadoes, every thing attracted his notice ; the soil, 

VOL. I. 3 B * 



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18 LIFE OP WASHINGTON. [175SL 

agricultural products, modes of culture, fruits, com- 
merce, military force, fortifications, manners of the in- 
habitants, municipal regulations, and government; on 
all of which he wrote down summary remarks in his 
journal 

The first letter fit)m his brother at Bermuda gave 
an encouraging account of his health, and expressed 
a wish that his wife should join him there; but it 
was followed by another, of a difierent tenor, which 
prevented her departure. Fmding no essential relief, 
he came home in the summer, and sank rapidly mto 
his grave, at the age of thirty-four, leavmg a wife, an 
infant daughter, and a large circle of fiiends, to deplore 
a loss keenly felt by them all Few men have been 
more beloved for their amiable qualities, or admired 
for those higher traits of character, which give dignity 
to virtue, and a charm to accomplishments of mind 
and manners. 

By this melancholy event, new duties and respon- 
sibDities devolved upon George. Large estates were 
left by the deceased brother, the hnmediate care of 
which demanded his oversight He had likewise been 
appointed one of the executors of the will, in which 
was an eventual interest of considerable magnitude per- 
taming to himself. The estate at Mount Vernon was 
bequeathed to the surviving daughter ; and, in case of 
her demise without issue, this estate and other lands 
were to descend to George, with the reservation of 
the use of the same to the wife during her lifetime. 
Although he was the youngest executor, yet his ac- 
quaintance with his brother^s concerns, and the con- 
fidence always reposed in him by the deceased, were 
grounds for placing the busmess principally m his hands. 
His time and thoughts, for several months, were taken 
up with these affairs, complicated in their nature, and 
requiring delicacy and caution in their management 



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iEx.aa] LIFE OP WASHINGTON. 19 

His private employments, however, did not draw 
him away fix)m his public duties as adjutant-general. 
Indeed the sphere of that office was enlarged. Soon 
after Governor Dmwiddie came to Virgmia, the col- 
ony was portioned into four grand military divisions. 
Major Washington's appomtment was then renewed, 
and the northern division was allotted to him. It in- 
cluded several counties, each of which was to be vis- 
ited at stated times by the adjutant, in order to tram 
and instruct the militia officers, review the companies 
on parade, inspect the arms and accoutrements, and 
establish a imiform system of manoeuvres and disci- 
pUne. These exercises, so congenial to his taste, were 
equally advantageous to himself and to the subordinate 
officers, who could not fail to be animated by his 
example, activity, and enthusiasm. 



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20 LIFE OP WASHINGTON. [175a 



CHAPTER II. 

The French make Encroachments on the Western Frontiers of Virginia. 
— Claims of the French and English to the Western Territory con- 
sidered. — Major Washington is sent by the Governor of Virginia to warn 
the Intruders to retire. — Crosses the Allegany Mountains. — Meets 
Indians on the Ohio River, who accompany him to the French Garri- 
son. — Indian Speech. — Interviews with the French Commander.— 
Perilous Adventures during his Journey, and in crossing the Allegany 
River. — Returns to Williamsburg and reports to the Governor. — 
His Journal published. — He is appointed to the Command of Troops 
to repel the Invasion of the Frontiers. — Governor Dinwiddie. 

The time was now at hand, when the higher desti- 
nies of Washington were to unfold themselves. Intel- 
ligence came firom the fix)ntiers, that the French had 
crossed the Lakes from Canada in force, and were 
about to establish posts and erect fortifications on the 
waters of the Ohio, It was rumored, also, that, alarmed 
for their safety, the friendly Indians were beginnmg to 
waver m their fidelity ; and the hostile tribes, encour- 
aged by the presence and support of the French, ex- 
hibited symptoms of open war. The crisis, in the 
opinion of Grovemor Dinwiddie and his Council, called 
for an immediate inquiry. A messenger had afready 
been sent over the mountains, in the character of a 
trader, with presents of powder, lead, and guns for 
the Indians, instructed to ascertain their temper, pen- 
etrate their designs, and above all to trace out the 
artifices and movements of the French. 

This messenger, either intimidated or deceived by 
the savages, executed his mission imperfectly. He 
went as far as the Ohio River, met some of the fiiendly 
sachems, delivered his presents, stayed a few days 
with them, and then returned. He brought back va- 
rious reports concemmg the French, narrated to him 



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^T.2L] LIFE OP WASHINGTON. 21 

by the Indians, who had been in their camp at Lake 
Erie, and who magnified their strength and formidable 
appearance, telling him that they took every English- 
man prisoner, whom they fomid beyond the Alleganies, 
because all that comitry belonged to the French King, 
and no Englishman had a right to trade with the In- 
dians in the King's territory. 

In the mean time the British ministry, anticipating 
fix)m the political aspect of affairs a rupture with 
France, despatched orders to the governOT of Virginia 
to build two forts near the Ohio River, for the pur- 
pose of securing possession, driving off mtruders, and 
retammg the alliance of the Indians, or holdmg them 
in check. Thirty pieces of light cannon and eighty 
barrels of powder were sent out fix)m England for 
the use of the forts. 

These orders came too late. Before they arrived, 
the governor of Canada had been diligently employed 
for a whole season in pushing forward troops across 
the Lakes, with munitions of war and other supplies, 
and a footing had already been gained in the heart 
of the disputed territory. Bodies of armed men had 
likewise ascended the Mississippi fix)m New Orleans 
to act in concert, and established themselves on the 
southern waters of the Ohio. The object was to form 
a line of military posts from Louisiana to Canada, and 
thus confine the western limits of the English colonies 
within the Allegany Mountains. Thus far had the 
French advanced, before the British government be- 
gan any active measures to counteract them. 

A question here occurs, of much historical interest, 
but of too wide a compass to be discussed m this place. 
What right had England or France to the territory in 
dispute? Although each party set up many preten- 
sions, it would be difficult in reviewing them to strike 



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22 LIFE OP WASHINGTON. [1753. 

the balance, because, when compared, it could not be 
shown, that even a plausible argument existed in favor 
of either side. England rested her claims on Indian 
treaties, and the French fortified theirs by still higher 
authority, the treaties of Ryswick, Utrecht, and Aix- 
la-Chapelle, and by the fact of prior discovery. 

It was always the policy of the English to keep 
up a good understanding with the Six Nations, a pow- 
erful confederacy bordering on Lake Ontario. By 
their position they formed a barrier against the French 
in Canada; and, as they had no good will towards 
their Indian neighbours on the other side of the Lakes, 
who adhered to the French, it was found practicable, 
by repeated presents and a good deal of management, 
to retain their friendship. These tribes pretended, 
that at some remote period they had conquered all 
the region west of the mountains, as far as the Mis- 
sissippi River. On the strength of this assumption, 
they made treaties with the English, ceding to them 
the lands within that space, and confirming the tide 
by such forms as were prescribed to them. This was 
the basis of the English claim. But the Indians dwel- 
ling on the lands, and whose ancestors from time im- 
memorial had dwelt there, neither participated in these 
treaties nor assented to them. On the contrary, they 
declared themselves the only rightful owners, and de- 
nied the authority of the Six Nations to meddle in 
the matter. 

The French insisted on the right of discovery and 
occupancy. Father Marquette, La Salle, and others, 
they said, had descended the Mississippi, and settle- 
ments had been made south of Lake Michigan and 
on the Illinois River, years before any Englishman had 
set his foot westward of the great mountams; and 
European treaties, m which England was a party, had 



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^T.21.] LIFE OP WASHINGTON. 23 

repeatedly recognised the tide of France to all her 
actual possessions in America. So far the ground was 
tenable. But a position was assumed, as a concomi- 
tant or consequence, of a more dubious character. 
The French maintained it to be an axiom in the law 
of nations, that the discovery of a river gave the dis- 
coverer a right to all the country watered by the 
streams flowing into it Hence the passing of Father 
Marquette down the Mississippi in a canoe, invested 
his sovereign with a tide to the immense valley bound- 
ed by the Appalachian Mountains on one side, and 
the Rocky Mountams on the other. However gravely 
such an hypothesis may be advanced, however ingen- 
iously defended, its fallacy is too obvious to be pomt- 
ed out 

From these hints it is clear, that neither of the 
contending parties had any just claim to the lands, 
about which they were beginning to kindle the flames 
of war. They were both intruders upon the soil of 
the native occupants. Of these proprietors, it was not 
pretended, that any purchase had been made or at- 
tempted. It was not strange, that they shouW look 
with astonishment upon so singular a transaction, as 
that of two nations, m distant parts of the world un- 
known to them, entering mto a quarrel about the right 
of seizing their property. When Mr. Gist went into 
that country, on a tour of observation for the Ohio 
Company, two sachems sent a messenger to ask him 
•* where the Indians* lands lay, for the French claimed 
all the land on one side of the Ohio River, and the 
English on the other.** This pertment inquiry con- 
tains a forcible statement of the whole merits of the 
case, far outweighing all the treaties referred to, wheth- 
er made in Europe or America. 

Such were some of the OTiginal grounds of the con- 



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24 LIFE OP WASHINGTON. [1753. 

test, in which nearly all Europe was involved, and 
which terminated in severing from France the larger 
portion of her possessions on the western continent 
The result is well known. The terms of the peace, 
so humiliating to the national pride of France, were 
endured no longer than till an opportunity offered of 
retaliation and recompense. This presented itself 
much sooner than could have been foreseen, in the 
war of the American revolution ; and it may safely be 
said, that the first blow struck on the Ohio was the 
beginning of the series of events, which ended thirty 
years afterwards in establishing the independence of 
j/ the English Colonies. We shall hence find Wash- 
ington acting a promment part in this great drama from 
its very commencement to its close, gaining strength 
and rising higher and higher at every stage, the de- 
fender of his country's cause, equal to all occasions, 
successful, and triumphant 

As a first step towards executing the orders of the 
ministers. Governor Dinwiddle resolved to send a com- 
missioner in due form, and invested with suitable 
powers, to confer with the officer commanding the 
French forces, and mquire by what authority he pre- 
sumed to invade the King's dominions, and what were 
his designs. The commission was delicate and haz- 
ardous, requiring discretion, ability, experience in the 
modes of travelling in the woods, and a knowledge of 
Indian manners. These requisites were believed to 
be combined in Major Washington, and the important 
service was mtrusted to him, although as yet but 
twenty-one years old. 

He was instructed to proceed without delay to the 
Ohio River, convene some of the Indian chiefs at a 
place called Logstown, make known to them the ob- 
jects of his visit, and, after having ascertained where 



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^T.21.] LIFE OF WASHINGTON. 25 

the French were stationed, to request an escort of 
warriors to be his guides and safeguard the rest of 
the journey. When arrived at the principal French 
post, he was to present his credentials and a letter 
from the governor of Virginia to the commandant, 
and in the name of his Britannic Majesty to demand 
an answer. He was furthermore to inquire diligently, 
and by cautious means, into the number of the French 
troops that had crossed the Lakes, the reinforcements 
expected from Canada, how many forts they had erect- 
ed and at what places, how they were garrisoned and 
appointed, and their distances from each other; and, 
in short, to procure all the intelligence possible respect- 
ing the condition and objects of the intruders. 

Fortified with written instructions to this effect, with 
credentials and a passport to which the great seal of 
the colony was alfixed, he departed from Williams- 
burg, the seat of government in Virginia, on the 31st 
of Noxenber, 1753. The distance before him to the 
extreme point of his destination, by the route he would 
pursue, was about five hundred and sixty miles, in 
great part over lofty and rugged mountains, and more 
than half of the way through the heart of a wilderness, 
where no traces of civilization as yet appeared. 

Passmg through the towns of Fredericksburg, Alex- 
andria, and Winchester, he arrived at Will's Creek in 
fourteen days. John Davidson had joined him as 
Indian interpreter; and Jacob Vanbraam, a Dutchman 
by birth, and formerly an oflScer in the army, was 
employed to assist in his intercourse with the French, 
being acquainted with their language. At Will's Creek 
he found Mr. Gist, a person long accustomed to the 
woods, having several times penetrated fer into the 
interior, and lately begun a settlement in the valley 
between the last ridge of the Alleganies and the Mo- 

VOL. I. 4 c 



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26 LIFE OF WASHINGTON. [1753. 

nongahela River. Mr. Gist consented to go with him 
as a guide. Four other men, two of them Indian 
traders, were added as attendants. 

The party was now increased to eight persons. 
With horses, tents, baggage, and provisions, suited to 
the expedition, they left the extreme verge of civi- 
lization at WilPs Creek, and entered the forests. The 
mclemency of the season, the AUeganies covered with 
snow and the valleys flooded by the swelling waters, 
the rough passages over the mountains and the difli- 
culties in crossmg the streams by frail rafts, fording, 
or swimming, were obstacles that could be overcome 
but slowly and with patience. They at length reached 
the Fork of the Ohio, where the Monongahela and 
Allegany unite to form that river. The place was 
critically examined by Major Washington, and he was 
impressed with the advantages it afibrded as a military 
post, both for defence and a depository of supplies, in 
case of hostilities in that quarter; and it was by his 
advice, that a fortification was shordy afterwards begun 
there, which became celebrated in two wars. 

Hastening onward to Logstown, about twenty miles 
below the Fork, he called together some of the Indian 
chiefs, and delivered to them the governor's message, 
soliciting a guard to the French encampments. The 
principal sachem was Tanacharison, otherwise called 
the Half-King. He was friendly to the English, or 
rather he was unfriendly to the French ; not that he 
loved one more than the other, but he valued his rights 
and independence. In the simplicity of his heart, he 
supposed the English sought only an mtercourse of 
trade, an exchange of arms, powder, and goods, for 
skins and furs, which would be beneficial to the In- 
dians. When the French came with arms in their 
hands, took possession of the country, and built forts, 



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^T.21.] LIFE OP WASHINGTON. 27 

his suspicions were awakened, and he saw no other 
method of defeating their designs, than by adhering 
to the English, Tanacharison, as a deputy fix)m sev- 
eral tribes, had been to the head-quarters of the French 
commandant, and made a speech to hun, the substance 
of which he related to Major Washington. 

"Fathers," said he, "I am come to tell you your 
own speeches ; what your own mouths have declared. 
Fathers, you in former days set a silver basin before 
us, wherein there was the leg of a beaver, and desired 
all the nations to come and eat of it, to eat m peace 
and plenty, and not to be churlish to one another; 
and that if any such person should be found to be a 
disturber, I here lay down by the edge of the dish a 
rod, which you must scourge them with ; and if your 
father should get foolish, m my old days, I desire you 
may use it upon me as well as others. 

"Now, fathers, it is you who are the disturbers in 
this land, by coming and buildmg your towns, and 
takmg it away unknown to us, and by force. 

"Fathers, we kindled a fire a long time ago, at a 
place called Montreal, where we desired you to stay, 
and not to come and intrude upon our land. I now 
desire you may despatch to that place ; for be it known 
to you, fathers, that this is our land and not yours. 

"Fathers, I desire you may hear me in civilness; 
if not, we must handle that rod which was laid down 
for the use of the obstreperous. If you had come in 
a peaceable manner, like our brothers the English, we 
would not have been against your trading with us 
as they do; but to come, fathers, and build houses 
upon our land, and to take it by force, is what we 
cannot submit to. 

" Fathers, both you and the English are white ; we 
live in a country between ; therefore, the land belongs 



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28 LIFE OF WASHINGTON. [1753. 

to neither one nor the other. But the Great Being 
above allowed it to be a place of residence for us; 
so, fathers, I desire you to withdraw, as I have done 
our brothers the English ; for I will keep you at arm's 
length. I lay this down as a trial for both, to see 
which will have the greatest regard to it, and that 
side we will stand by, and make equal sharers with 
us. Our brothers, the English, have heard this, and 
I come now to tell it to you; for I am not afraid to 
discharge you oflF this land.'' 

These are the sentiments of a patriot and a hero, 
but the high-minded savage was not aware, that, as 
far as he and his race were concerned, there was no 
difference between his professed friends and open en- 
emies. He had never studied in the school of politics, 
which finds an excuse for rapacity and injustice in 
the law of nations, nor learned that it was the pre- 
rogative of civilization to prey upon the ignorant and 
the defenceless. 

The sachems at length met in council, and Major 
Washington addressed to them a speech, explaining 
the objects of his mission, and the wishes of the gov- 
ernor. He then gave them a string of wampum, the 
Indian token of friendship and alliance. They consult- 
ed together, and deputed Tanacharison to reply in the 
name of the whole. His language was pacific, and 
the escort was promised ; but, the young warriors be- 
mg out on a huntmg party, three or four days were 
consumed m waiting for their return. As his business 
was pressmg, Major Washington could delay no long- 
er, and he finally set off, accompanied by four Indians 
only, Tanacharison being of the number. 

The distance to the station of the French com- 
mandant was one hundred and twenty miles. The 
journey was performed without any important inci- 



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iET.ai.] LIFE OP WASHINGTON. 29 

dent, except at Venango, one of the French outposts, 
where various stratagems were used to detain the In- 
dians. He was civilly treated, however, by Captain 
Joncaire, the principal officer, who told him where the 
head-quarters were established. Rain and snow fell 
continually, and, after incredible toils from exposure 
and the badness of the travelling through an illimitable 
forest, intersected with deep streams and morasses, he 
was rejoiced to find himself at the end of his journey, 
forty-one days from the time he left Williamsburg. 

M. de St. Pierre, the commandant, was an elderly 
person, a knight of the military order of St. Louis, 
and courteous in his manners. At the first interview 
he promised immediate attention to the letter torn 
Governor Dmwiddie, and every thmg was provided 
for the convenience and comfort of Major Washington 
and his party while they remained at the fort At 
the next meeting the commission and letter were pro- 
duced, read, translated, and deliberately explained. 
The commandant counselled with his officers, and in 
two days an answer was returned. 

The govemor^s letter asserted, that the lands on the 
Ohio belonged to the crown of Great Britain, expressed 
surprise at the encroachments of the French, demand- 
ed by whose authority an armed force had crossed the 
Lakes, and urged a speedy and peaceable departure. 
M. de St. Pierre replied in the style of a soldier, say- 
ing it did not belong to him to discuss treaties, that 
such a message should have been sent to the Marquis 
Duquesne, Grovemor of Canada, by whose instructions 
he acted, and whose orders he should be careful to 
obey, and that the summons to retire could not be 
complied with. The tone was respectful, but uncom- 
plymg and determined. 

While the French officers were holdmg consultations, 



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30 LIFE OP WASHINGTON. [175a 

and getting the despatch ready, Major Washington 
took an opportunity to look around and examine the 
fort His attendants were instructed to do the same. 
He was thus enabled to bring away an accurate de- 
scription of its form, size, construction, cannon, and 
barracks. His men counted the canoes in the river, 
and such as were partly finished. The fort was situate 
on a branch of French Creek, about fifteen miles south 
of Lake Erie. A plan of it, drawn by Major Wash- 
mgton, was sent to the British government. 

The snow was falling so fast, that he ordered back 
his horses to Venango, resolved to go down himself by 
water, a canoe having been ofiered to him for that 
purpose. He had been entertamed with great polite- 
ness; nor did the complaisance of M. de St Pierre 
exhaust itself in mere forms of civility. The canoe, 
by his order, was plentifully stocked with provisions, 
liquors, and every other supply that could be wanted. 

But the same artifices were practised and expe- 
dients tried, as at Venango, to lure away the Indians, 
and keep them behind. Many temptations were held 
out, presents given, and others promised. The Half- 
King was a man of consequence, whose fiiendship was 
not to be lost, if it could possibly be retained. He 
persisted in his reserve, however, and now offered a 
second time to the French commandant the speech- 
belt, or wampum, as indicating that the alliance be- 
tween them was broken off. The latter refused to 
accept it, and soothed the savage with soft words and 
fair professions, saymg it was his wish to live in amity 
and peace with the Indians, and to trade with them, 
and that he would immediately send goods to their 
towns. These attempts to inveigle the Half-Kmg and 
his companions were discovered by Major Washing- 
ton, who complained of the delay, and msinuated the 



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iET.ai.] LIFE OF WASHINGTON. 31 

cause, M, de St Pierre was urbaae, as usual, seem- 
ed ignorant of all that passed, could not tell why the 
Indians stayed, and declared nothmg should be want- 
ing on his part to fulfil Major Washington's desires. 
Finally, after much perplexity and trouble, the whole 
party embarked in the canoe. 

The passage down was fatiguing, slow, and perilous. 
Rocks, shallows, drifting trees, and currents, kept them 
in constant alarm. "Many times,** says Major Wash- 
ington in his journal, **all hands were obliged to get 
out, and remain in the water half an hour or more in 
getting over the shoals. At one place the ice had 
lodged, and made it impassable by water; and we 
were obliged to carry our canoe across a neck of land 
a quarter of a mile over.** In six days they landed at 
Venango, a distance of one hundred and thirty miles 
by the windmg of the stream. 

The horses were found here, but in so emaciated 
and pitiable a condition, that it was doubtful whether 
they could perform the journey. The baggage and 
provisions were all to be transported on their backs. 
To lighten their burden, as much as possible. Major 
Washington, clad in an Indian walking-dress, deter- 
mined to proceed on foot, with Mr. Gist and Mr. Van- 
braam, putting the horses under the direction of the 
drivers. After three days' travel, the horses becoming 
more feeble, and the cold and snow hourly increasing, 
this mode of journeying proved so tardy and dis- 
couraging, that another waa resorted to. Mr. Van- 
braam took charge of the horses, with orders to go on 
as fast as he could. Major Washington, with a knap- 
sack on his back, containing his papers and food, and 
with a gun in his hand, left the party, accompanied 
only by Mr. Gist, equipped m the same manner. They 
turned out of the path, and directed their course 



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32 LIFE OP WASHINGTON. [1753. 

through the woods so as to strike the Allegany River, 
and cross it near Shannopins Town, two or three miles 
above the Fork of the Ohio. The next day an ad- 
venture occurred, which is well narrated by Mr. Gist 
in a diary written by him at the time. 

"We rose early in the morning, and set out about 
two o'clock, and got to the Murdering Town on the 
southeast fork of Beaver Creek. Here we met with 
an Indian, whom I thought I had seen at Joncaire's, 
at Venango, when on our journey up to the French 
fort This fellow called me by my Indian name, and 
pretended to be glad to see me. He asked us sev- 
eral questions, as, how we came to travel on foot, when 
we left Venango, where we parted with our hdrses, 
and when they would be there. Major Washington 
msisted on travelling by the nearest way to the Forks 
of the Allegany. We asked the Indian if he could go 
with us, and show us the nearest way. The Indian 
seemed very glad, and ready to go with us ; upon 
which we set out, and the Indian took the Major's 
pack. We travelled very brisk for eight or ten miles, 
when the Major's feet grew very sore, and he very 
weary, and the Indian steered too much northeast- 
wardly. The Major desired to encamp ; upon which 
the Indian asked to carry his gun, but he refused ; 
and then the Indian grew churlish, and pressed us to 
keep on, telling us there were Ottowa Indians in 
those woods, and they would scalp us if we lay out ; 
but go to his cabin, and we should be safe. 

"I thought very ill of the fellow, but did not care 
to let the Major know I mistrusted him. But he soon 
mistrusted him as much as I did. The Indian said 
he could hear a gun from his cabin, and steered us 
more northwardly. We grew uneasy, and then he 
said two whoops might be heard from his cabin. We 



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Mt.21.] life op WASHINGTON. 33 

went two miles further. Then the Major said he 
would stay at the next water, and we desired the 
Indian to stop at the next water ; but before we came 
to water, we came to a clear meadow. It was very 
light, and snow was on the ground. The Indian made 
a stop, and turned about The Major saw him point 
his gun towards us, and he fired. Said the Major, 
* Are you shot ? * * No,' said I ; upon which the In- 
dian ran forward to a big standmg white oak, and 
began loading his gun, but we were soon with him. 
I would have killed him, but the Major would not suf- 
fer me. We let him charge his gun. We found he 
put in a ball ; then we took care of him. Either the 
Major or I always stood by the guns. We made him 
make a fire for us by a little run, as if we intended to 
sleep there. I said to the Major, *As you will not 
have him killed, we must get him away, and then we 
must travel all night'; upon which I said to the In- 
dian, *I suppose you were lost, and fired your gun.' 
He said he knew the way to his cabin, and it was 
but a little way. *Well,' said I, *do you go home; 
and, as we are tired, we will follow your track in the 
morning, and here is a cake of bread for you, and 
you must give us meat in the morning.' He was 
glad to get away. I followed him, and listened, until 
he was fairly out of the way; and then we went 
about half a mile, when we made a fire, set our com- 
pass, fixed our course, and travelled all night In the 
morning we were on the head of Piny Creek." 

Whether it was the mtention of the Indian to kill 
either of them can only be conjectured. The cir- 
cumstances were extremely suspicious. Major Wash- 
ington hints at this incident in his journal **We 
fell in with a party of French Indians," says he, ^*who 
had lain in wait for us. One of them fired at Mr. 

VOL. I. 5 



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34 LIFE OP WASHINGTON. [1754. 

Gist OF' me, not fifteen steps off, but fortunately missed. 
We took the fellow in custody, and kept him till nine 
o'clock at night; then let him go, and walked all 
the remaining part of the night without making any 
stop, that we might get the start so far as to be out 
of the reach of their pursuit the next day, since we 
were well assured they would follow our track as soon 
as it was light" No more was seen or heard of them. 
The next night, at dusk, the travellers came to the 
Allegany River, a little above Shannopins, where they 
expected to cross over on the ice; but in this they 
were disappointed, the river being frozen only a few 
yards on each side, and a great body of broken ice 
driving rapidly down the current 

Weary and exhausted they were compelled to pass 
the night on the bank of the river, exposed to the 
rigor of the weather, makmg their beds on the snow, 
with no other covering than their blankets. When 
the morning came, their invention was the only re- 
source for providing the means of gaining the oppo- 
site shore. 

"There was no way of getting over,'' says Major 
Washington, " but on a raft ; which we set about with 
but one poor hatchet, and finished just after sun- 
setting. This was a whole day's work. We next got 
it launched, and went on board of it; then set off. 
But before we were half way over, we were jammed 
in the ice in such a manner, that we expected every 
moment our raft would smk, and ourselves perish. I 
put out my setting-pole to try to stop the raft, that 
the ice might pass by ; when the rapidity of the stream 
threw it with so much violence against the pole, that 
it jerked me out into ten feet water. But I fortu- 
nately saved myself by catchmg hold of one of the 
raft logs. Notwithstanding all our efforts we could 



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^T.21.] LIFE OF WASHINGTON. 35 

not get the raft to either shore, but were obliged, as 
we were near an island, to quit our raft, and make 
to it'' 

This providential escape from most imminent dan- 
ger was not the end of their calamities. They were 
thrown upon a desert island; the weather was m- 
tensely cold ; Mr. Gist's hands and feet were frozen ; 
and their sufferings through the night were extreme. 
A gleam of hope appeared with the dawn of morning. 
Between the island and the eastern bank of the river, 
the ice had congealed so hard as to bear their weight. 
They crossed over without accident, and the same 
day reached a trading-post recently established by 
Mr. Frazier, near the spot where eighteen months 
afterwards was fought the memorable battle of the 
Monongahela. 

Here they rested two or three days, both to recruit 
themselves and to procure horses. Meantime Major 
Washington paid a complimentary visit to Queen Ali- 
quippa, an Indian princess, who resided at the con- 
fluence of the Monongahela and Youghiogany Rivers. 
She had expressed dissatisfaction, that he had neglect- 
ed this mark of respect on his way out. An apology, 
seconded by the more substantial token of a present, 
soothed her wounded dignity, and secured a gracious 
reception. 

Nothmg was heard of Vanbraam and his party. 
Anxious to hasten back, and report to the governor 
the result of his mission. Major Washington did not 
wait for them. With Mr. Gist he recrossed the AUe- 
ganies to Will's Creek, and thence proceeded with 
despatch to Williamsburg, where he arrived on the 
16th of January, having been absent eleven weeks. 

The intentions and movements of the French be- 
ing now understood, Grovernor Dinwiddle thought the 



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36 LIFE OP WASHINGTON. [1754. 

occasion demanded prompt and energetic action. He 
called his Council together, and laid before them Major 
Washmgton's journal, and the letter of the French 
commandant. It was agreed, that the mstructions here- 
tofore received from the ministry imposed it as a duty, 
in case of an invasion of the King's dominions, to re- 
pel it by a resort to arms. There was no longer any 
doubt, that the state of things, anticipated by the min- 
isters, had actually come to pass. It was now time to 
prepare for the exigency. At the last meeting of the 
House of Burgesses, the governor had failed in his 
endeavours to rouse the representatives of the people 
to a sense of danger, and no funds had been provided 
(or establishing a military force. 

Without waiting for the burgesses to convene, the 
Council advised the inmiediate enlistment of two hun- 
dred men, with du^ctions to march to the Ohio, and 
build one or two forts there, before the French should 
be able to descend the river in the spring, as they 
had threatened to do. An order was issued for rais- 
ing two companies, of one hundred men each, in the 
northern counties by voluntary enlistments, or, if that 
method should prove impracticable, by drafts from the 
militia. The conduct of Major Washington had hith- 
erto been marked with so much prudence, resolution, 
and capacity, that he was appointed to the chief com- 
mand of these troops, apparently by the unanimous 
voice of the Council. 

To make an impression on the minds of the people, 
and if possible to work them up to some degree of 
enthusiasm, and excite their indignation against the 
invaders, Grovemor Dinwiddie caused Major Washing- 
ton's journal to be published. It was copied into near- 
ly all the newspapers of the other colonies. In Lon- 
don it was reprinted, under the auspices of the gov- ' 



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iET.21.] LIFE OP WASHINGTON. 37 

eminent, and accounted a document of much impor- 
tance, as unfolding the views of the French, and an- 
nouncing the first positive proof of their hostile acts 
in the disputed territory. 

Nothing more was expected fi'om the small military 
preparations set on foot by the governor and Council, 
than to take a position on the Ohio before the French 
should come down the river, and unite with the par- 
ties from New Orleans. The conmiand of one of the 
two companies was given to Captain Trent, who, being 
acquainted with the frontiers, was sent forward to en- 
list his men among the traders and back setders, and 
ordered to commence with all speed the building of a 
fort at the Fork of the Ohio, in conformity with the 
recommendation of Major Washington, who had ex- 
amined that place, as we have seen, with a view to 
its military advantages. 

At the same time. Major Washington was stationed 
at Alexandria, as a convenient situation for the ren- 
dezvous of his men, and for superintending the trans- 
portation of supplies and the cannon intended to be 
mounted in the fort Lord Fairfax, holding the office 
of county-lieutenant, which gave him authority over 
the militia in his neighbourhood, was active in procur- 
ing enlistments and rendermg other services to his 
young friend. The governor's instructions to the 
officers bore a warlike aspect They were, to drive 
away, kill, and destroy, or seize as prisoners, all per- 
sons not the subjects of the King of Great Britain, 
who should attempt to settle or take possession of the 
lands on the Ohio River or any of its tributaries. 

These arrangements being made. Governor Dinwid- 
die summoned the legislature to meet at an early day, 
in order to take into consideration the critical state of 
aflfairs, and provide for the safety of the Dominion, as 

VOL. I. D 



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38 LIFE OP WASHINGTON. [1754. 

Virginia was at that time denominated He also wrote 
letters to the governors of the other provinces, calling 
on them for aid, and drawing a vivid picture of the 
common danger, with moving appeals to their patriot- 
ism and sense of duty to their sovereign. New York 
and the New England colonies he desired to send 
troops towards Canada, and make a feint in that di- 
rection, which should prevent the reinforcements at 
Quebec from marching to the Ohio. 

These appeals were of little avail; the governors 
had received no instructions ; funds for military ob- 
jects were not at their disposal ; and the assemblies 
were slow to impose taxes even for the support of their 
own governments. Some persons doubted the au- 
thority of the governor of Virginia to meddle m so grave 
a matter; others were not convinced, that the French 
had encroached upon the King's lands ; and others re- 
garded it as a national concern, in which the colonies 
had no right to mterfere without direct orders and as- 
sistance from the King. If treaties have been violated, 
said they, it is not for us to avenge the insult, and 
precipitate a war by our zeal and rashness. 

In short, the call was premature, and there was little 
hope of cooperation from the other colonies. Messen- 
gers were despatched to the southern Indians, the 
Catawbas and Cherokees, inviting them to join in re- 
pelling a common enemy, who had already engaged 
in their behalf the powerful nations of Chippewas and 
Ottowas. Reliance was also placed on the friendship 
of the Twigtwees, Delawares, and other tribes beyond 
the Ohio. 

When the Assembly met, a difference of opinion 
prevailed, as to the measures that ought to be pur- 
sued; but ten thousand pounds were finally voted 
for the defence of the colony, cloaked under the title 
of an act "for the encouragement and protection of 



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iET.22.] LIFE OP WASHINGTON. 39 

the settlers on the waters of the Mississippi.*' The 
governor's equanimity was severely tried. The King's 
prerogative and his own dignity he thought were not 
treated with due respect So obtuse were some of 
the burgesses, that they could not perceive the justice 
of the King's claims to the lands in question, and they 
had the boldness to let their doubts be known in a full 
assembly. " You may well conceive," said the governor 
in writing to a friend, " how I fired at this ; that an 
English legislature should presume to doubt the right 
of his Majesty to the mterior parts of this continent, 
the back of his dominions." And, alluding to one of 
the members, he added, " How this French spirit could 
possess a person of his high distinction and sense, I 
know not." Another point was still more annoying to 
hun. The Assembly appointed commissioners to su- 
perintend the appropriation of the funds. This act he 
took as a slight to hhnself, since by virtue of his office 
the disposal of money for public uses ought to rest 
exclusively with the governor. Such was his view 
of the matter, and he declared that nothing but the 
extreme urgency of the case should have induced him 
to sign the bill. 

To the Earl of Holdemesse he complained of the 
wayward temper and strange doings of the Assembly. 
"I am sorry to find them," said he, "very much in 
a republican way of thmking ; and, indeed, they do 
not act in a proper constitutional way, but make en- 
croachments on the prerogative of the crown, in which 
some former governors have submitted too much to 
them ; and, I fear, without a very particular instruction, 
it will be difficult to bring them to order." Notwith- 
standing these grievances, the governor's zeal for the 
public good rose above his personal feelipgs, and he 
applied himself ardently to the work he had under- 
taken. 



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40 LIFE OP WASHINGTON. [1754. 



CHAPTER III. 

Military Preparations. — Washington appointed Lieutenant-Colonel. — 
Marches to the Allegany Mountains. — Joined by Parties of Indians. 
— Skirmish with a French Detachment under Jumonville. — The 
Chief Command devolves on Colonel Washington. — His generous 
Sentiments respecting the Terms of Service. — Fort Necessity. — 
Battle of the Great Meadows. — Resigns his Commission. — Engages 
in the Expedition under General Braddock. — DiflSculties encountered 
by the Army in its March. — Battle of the Monongahela. — Its dis- 
astrous Results. — Bravery and good Conduct of Colonel Washing- 
ton in that Action. — His prudent Advice to General Braddock. 

With the means now provided by the legislature, 
the military establishment was mcreased to six com- 
panies, under the command of Colonel Joshua Fry. 
He was an Englishman by birth, educated at Oxford, 
skilled in the mathematical sciences, and much esteem- 
ed for his amiable qualities and gentlemanly character. 
Major Washington was made second m command, 
with the rank of lieutenant-colonel. Subordinate offi- 
cers were commissioned, and, to quicken the military 
zeal of the people, and give alacrity to the recruiting 
service, Grovemor Dinwiddie issued a proclamation 
granting two hundred thousand acres of land on the 
Ohio River, to be divided among the troops, who 
should engage in the proposed expedition, and re- 
leasing the same from quitrents for fifteen yeare. One 
thousand acres were ordered to be laid off, contiguous 
to the fort at the Fork of the Ohio, for the use of the 
soldiers doing duty there, to be called the garrison 
lands. 

The reasons assigned by the governor to the min- 
isters for making this grant were, that he hoped the 
soldiers would become permanent settlers, and that 
it was better to secure the lands by such a bounty. 



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Mt.2^] life op WASHINGTON. 41 

than to aflow the French to take quiet possession of 
as many millions of acres as he had granted thousands. 
His proclamation was sanctioned by the King, but it 
was not well received in another quarter. The As- 
sembly of Pennsylvania took alarm at the freedom, 
with which lands, situate as they said m that province, 
were given away. Governor Hamilton wrote an ex- 
postulatory letter. It was a perplexing case ; but Grov- 
emor Dinwiddle escaped from the difficulty by reply- 
ing, that the claims of Pennsylvania were at least 
doubtful, the boundary line not having been run, that 
the object in view equally concerned both provinces, 
that his grant did not necessarily imply future jurisdic- 
tion, and that, if the Pennsylvania claim should be 
established, the quitrents might eventually be paid to 
the proprietary instead of the crown. 

Fresh encouragement was mspired by a letter from 
the Earl of Holdemesse, authorizing Governor Din- 
widdie to call to his aid two independent companies 
from New York, and one from South Carolina. These 
were colonial troops, raised and supported at the King's 
charge, and commanded by officers with royal com- 
missions. They could be marched to any part of the 
continent None of these companies had ever been 
stationed in Virginia. Expresses were immediately 
despatched to the governors of the above colonies, 
requesting them to order forward the companies with- 
out delay. 

News came from North Carolina, also, that the As- 
sembly had voted twelve thousand pounds for defence, 
and that a respectable force would soon be in the field 
to job their neighbours in the common cause. Thus 
far the prospect was flattering. The sympathy of the 
other colonies, however, did not manifest itself in any 
direct efforts. The Assembly of Maryland brought in 

VOL. I. 6 n* 



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42 LIFE OF WASHINGTON. [1754. 

a money bill, which was rejected by the governor, un- 
der pretence, that the mode proposed for levying the 
taxes was an encroachment upon the prerogative. In- 
deed, the apparition of the prerogative never failed to 
stare the colonial governors in the fisw^e, whenever any 
measure salutary to the people was to be approved by 
them. It may be, that the bold experiments and as- 
piring demands of the assemblies sometimes required 
this cautionary checL 

The spirit of liberty, even at that day, was restless 
under the burden of charters and usages, and was 
everywhere strugglmg to throw it off, or at least to 
dunmish its weight. The prerogative was the potent 
charm, by which the governors endeavoured to allay 
this sphit, when they found arguments and personal 
mfluence imavailing. In Pennsylvania, more exposed 
to the invasion than Virginia, the legislature were so 
busy in carrying on the quarrel, which contmued for 
years between themselves and the governor, that they 
had little leisure for other business. Here agam was 
a prerogative, but not enforced in the name of the 
King, and hence perhaps the more odious to the people. 

The descendants of William Perm, called the pro- 
prietaries, owned large tracts of land in the province. 
The Assembly insbted, and very justly, that these 
lands, bemg equally benefited, ought to bear an equal 
portion of the tax for defence. They reported money 
bills upon that principle; the governor refused his 
signature, maintaining the proprietary prerogative. The 
bUls fell to the ground, and nothing was done. In 
his letter of explanation, Governor H&milton regretted 
the failure of the bills, but laid the blame at the door of 
the Quakers, who, he said, had scruples about arming. 

Although thus feebly sustained by their neighbours, 
the Virginians did not abate their exertions. The 



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^T,22.] LIFE OF WASHINGTON. 43 

enlistments went on with considerable success. Colo- 
nel Washington continued his head-quarters at Alex- 
andria till the beginning of April. Two companies 
had been collected at that place, with which he march- 
ed to Willis Creek, where he arrived on the 20th, 
having been joined on the way by another company 
under Captain Stephen. The march was slow and 
fatiguing, on account of the roughness of the roads, 
and the difficulty of procuring wagons to convey the 
baggage. It was necessary to put the militia law m 
execution, which authorized impressments; but meas- 
ures of this sort are always disliked by the people, 
and orders are tardily obeyed or evaded. The artil- 
lery and some of the heavier articles went by water 
up the Potomac. 

A party of Captain Trent's men had abeady gone 
to the Ohio, and begun to build a fort. Just before 
Colonel Washington reached WiD's Creek, a rumor 
came from the interior, that these men were taken by 
the French; and two days afterwards the alarming 
intelligence was confirmed by the ensign of Captain 
Trent's company. He reported, that, while they were 
at work, forty -one m nmnber, a body of French troops 
descended the river from Venango, consisting of one 
thousand men, with eighteen pieces of cannon, sixty 
batteaux, and three hundred canoes, under the com- 
mand of Captain Contrecceur, and summoned them 
to surrender, threatenmg to take forcible possession of 
the fort if this summons were not immediately obeyed. 
No alternative remained, and, the captain and lieuten- 
ant being absent. Ensign Ward acceded to articles of 
capitulation, and gave up the fort, but was permitted 
to retire with his men. He came to Will's Creek, 
and brought the news of the disaster. His statement, 
however, as to the numbers of the French, their can- 



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44 LIFE OP WASHINGTON. [1754. 

non and boats, turned out to be very much exagger- 
ated. This was the first open act of hostility in the 
memorable war of seven years that followed. The 
French enlarged and completed the fort, which they 
called Fort Duquesne, in compUment to the governor 
of Canada. 

To the little army imder Colonel Washington, as 
yet amounting to no more than three small companies, 
this was a critical moment They occupied an out- 
post, beyond which there was no barrier to oppose the 
formidable French force on the Ohio. Even a detach- 
ment, well armed and disciplined, might surroimd and 
cut them off. Colonel Fry had not joined them, and 
the whole responsibility rested on the Lieutenant-ColoneL 
He instantly sent expresses to the governors of Vir- 
ginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania, setting forth his 
weak and exposed condition, and calling for reinforce- 
ments. He then held a council of war. Notwith- 
standing the dangers that threatened on every side, 
it was resolved to push boldly into the wilderness, to 
clear and prepare the road as they advanced, and, if 
possible, to penetrate to the Monongahela at the mouth 
of Red-stone Creek, and erect there a fortification. The 
soldiers would thus be employed, their apprehensions 
quieted, the bane of idleness avoided, and a way opened 
for the more expeditious march of the troops in the rear. 

So many obstacles intervened, that the progress was 
slow. Trees were to be felled, bridges made, marshes 
filled up, and rocks removed. In the midst of these 
difficulties the provisions failed, the commissaries hav- 
ing neglected to fulfil their engagements, and there 
was great distress for want of bread. 

At the Youghiogany, where they were detained in 
constructing a bridge. Colonel Washington was told 
by the traders and Indians, that, except at one place. 



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^T.aS.] LIFE OP WASHINGTON. 45 

a passage might be had by water down that river. 
To ascertam this point, extremely advantageous if true, 
he embarked in a canoe with five men on a tour of 
discovery, leaving the army under the command of a 
subordinate officer. His hopes were disappointed. 
After navigating the river in his canoe near thirty 
miles, encountering rocks and shoals, he passed be- 
tween two mountams, and came to a fall that arrested 
his course, and rendered any further attempt imprac- 
ticable. He returned, and the project of a conveyance 
by water was given up. 

He had scarcely rejoined the army, when a mes- 
sage was brought to him fi*om his old fiiend Tana- 
charison, or the Half-King, then with his people near 
the Monongahela River, which warned him to be on 
his guard, as a party of French had been out two 
days, and were then marching towards him determined 
to attack the first English they should meet His 
account was confirmed by another, which stated the 
French to be only fifteen miles distant 

Not knowing their number, or at what moment they 
might approach, he hastened to a place called the 
Great Meadows, cleared away the bushes, threw up 
an entrenchment, and prepared, as he expressed it, 
" a charmmg field for an encounter.^' He then mount- 
ed some of the soldiers on wagon-horses, and sent 
them out to reconnoitre. They came back without 
having seen any traces of the enemy; but the camp 
was alarmed in the night, the sentries fired, and all 
hands were kept under arms till morning. Mr. Gist 
came to the camp, also, and reported that a French 
detachment, consisting of fifty men, had been at his 
settlement the day before, and that he had observed 
their tracks within five miles of the Great Meadows. 

The approach of the French, with hostile designs, 



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46 LIFE OP WASHINGTON. [1754. 

was now deemed certain; and the best preparation 
was made to receive them, which circumstances would 
permit In the mean time, about nine o'clock at night, 
another express came from the Half-King, who was 
then with a party of his warriors about six miles from 
the camp, stating that he had seen the tracks of two 
Frenchmen, and that the whole detachment was near 
that place. Colonel Washington immediately put him- 
self at the head of forty men, leaving the rest to guard 
the camp, and set oflf to jom the Half-King. The night 
was dark, the rain fell in torrents, the paths through 
the woods were narrow and intricate, and the soldiers 
often lost their way, gropmg in the bushes, and clam- 
bering over rocks and fallen trees. 

The whole night was passed in the march, and they 
got to the Indian encampment just before sunrise. A 
council was held with Tanacharison and his chief war- 
riors, and it was agreed that they should march in 
concert against the French. Two Indians went out 
to ascertain the position of the enemy, which was dis- 
covered to be in an obscure retreat, surrounded by 
rocks, half a mile from the road. The plan of the 
attack was then formed. Colonel Washington and 
his men were to advance on the right, and the Indians 
on the left. The march was pm^ued in smgle file, 
according to the Indian manner, till they came so near 
as to be discovered by the French, who instandy 
seized their arms, and put themselves in an attitude 
of defence. 

At this moment the firing commenced on both sides. 
A smart skirmish ensued, which was kept up for a 
quarter of an hour, when the French ceased to resist. 
M. de Jumonville, the commander of the French par- 
ty, and ten of his men, were killed. Twenty-two were 
taken prisoners, one of whom was woimded. A Ca- 



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iET.22.] LIFE OF WASHINGTON. 47 

nadian made his escape during the action. One of 
Colonel Washington's men was killed, and two or 
three wounded. No harm happened to the Indians, 
as the enemy's fire was directed chiefly against the 
English. This event occurred on the 28th of May. 
The prisoners were conducted to the Great Meadows, 
and thence under a guard to Governor Dinwiddle. 

No transaction in the life of Washington has been 
so much misrepresented, or so little understood, as 
this skirmish with Jumonville. It being the first con- 
flict of arms m the war, a notwiety was given to it, 
particularly in Europe, altogether disproportioned to its 
importance. War had not yet been declared between 
Great Britain and France, and mdeed the diplomatists 
on both sides were making great professions of friend- 
ship. It was the policy of each nation to exaggerate 
the proceedmgs of the other on their colonial fix^ntiers, 
and to make them a handle for recrimination and com- 
plaints, by throwing upon the adverse party the blame 
of committing the first acts of aggression. Hence, 
when the intelligence of the skirmish with Jumonville 
got to Paris, it was oflScially published by the govern- 
ment, in connexion with a memoir and various papers, 
and his death was called a murder. It was said, that, 
while bearing a summons as a civil messenger, without 
any hostile mtentions, he was waylaid and assassmated. 
The report was industriously circulated, and gained 
credence with the multitude. M. Thomas, a poet and 
scholar of repute, seized the occasion to write an epic, 
entitled " /wTwontn/fc," in which he tasked his inven- 
tion to draw a tragical picture of the fate of his hero. 
The fabric of the story and the mcidents were alike 
fictitious. But the tale passed fix)m fiction to history, 
and to this day it is repeated by the French historians, 
who m other respects render justice to the character 



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48 LIFE OF WASHINGTON. [1754. 

of Washington, and who can find no other apology 
for this act, than his youth and mexperience, and the 
ferocity of his men. 

The mistakes of the French writers were not un- 
known to Washington ; but, conscious of having acted 
in strict conformity with his orders and military usage, 
he took no pains to correct them, except in a single 
letter to a fiiend written several years afterwards, which 
related mostly to the errors in the French account of 
the subsequent action of the Great Meadows. Un- 
fortunately all his correspondence, and the other papers 
which he wrote during this campaign, were lost the 
next year at the battle of the Monongahela; and he 
was thus deprived of the only authentic materials, that 
could be used for explanation and defence. The most 
important of these papers have recently been found, 
and they afford not only a complete vindication of the 
conduct of Colonel Washington in this affair, but show 
that it met with the unqualified approbation of the 
governor and legislature of Virginia, and of the British 
ministry.* 

It is true that Jumonville was the bearer of a sum- 
mons ; but this was unknown to Colonel Washington, 
nor did the mode in which the former approached the 
English camp indicate that he came on an errand of 
peace. He was at the head of an armed force, he 
sent out spies in advance, concealed himself and his 
party two days in an obscure place near the camp, 

* In the public ofl5ces at London, I examined the ofl5cial communica- 
tions from Governor Dinwiddie, giving a full account of the events of 
that period. By the politeness of an individual in England, who had in 
his possession the letter-books and private papers of Governor Dinwid- 
die, I was permitted to inspect those papers, and to have copies taken. 
Among them were the original letters of Colonel Washington, written 
at the time, respecting the skirmish with Jumonville, and the principal 
incidents of the campaign. 



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iET.22.] LIFE OP WASHINGTON. 49 

and despatched messengers with mtelligence to his 
commander at the fort These were strong evidences 
of a hostile intention ; and, had Colonel Washington not 
regarded them in that light, he would have been justly 
censurable for ignorance or neglect of duty. 

The summons itself was by no means conciliatory; 
and, if Colonel Washington had actually known, that 
the French officer had such a paper in his pocket, he 
could not properly do otherwise than he did, under 
the circumstances in which M. de Jumonville chose to 
place himself. It warned the English to retire below 
the AUeganies, and threatened compulsory measures 
if it should not be obeyed. The presumption was, 
that the summons was only a feint, in case the party 
should be captured, and that Jumonville was to re- 
main concealed, and wait for reinforcements, after he 
had reconnoitred the English camp, and ascertamed 
its strength. If such were not the object, the con- 
sequences are justly chargeable on the indiscretion of 
M. de Jumonville in the extraordinary mode of con- 
ducting his enterprise. 

The labors and dangers of the field were not the 
only troubles, with which Colonel Washington at this 
time had to contend By an ill-timed parsimony, the 
pay of the officers was reduced so low, as to create 
murmurs and discontent throughout the camp. Com- 
plamts grew loud and vehement, accompanied with 
threats to resign and leave the army to its fate. Un- 
der this pressure the character of Washington shone 
with the same purity and lustre, that often distinguished 
it afterwards on similar trying occasions. In his let- 
ters to the governor he assumed a firm and manly 
tone, demanded for himself and his associates an allow- 
ance equal to that received by the Kmg^s troops, and 
deprecated the idea of being placed upon a footing, 

VOL. I. 7 E 



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50 LIFE OF WASHINGTON. [1754. 

which should imply an inferiority m rank, or in the 
value of their services. 

While he took this high stand, m defending the just 
claims of the officers, he endeavoured to cahn their 
feelings, and reconcile them to their condition, by 
appeals to their honor and the obligations of duty. 
**I have communicated your sentiments to the other 
officers," said he to the governor, "and, as far as I 
could put on the hypocrite, set forth the advantages 
that may accrue, and advised them to accept the terms, 
as a refusal might reflect dishonor upon their charac- 
ter, leaving it to the world to assign what reason it 
pleases for their quittmg the service." And again ; 
**I considered the pernicious consequences that would 
attend a disunion, and was therefore too much attached 
to my country's interests to suflFer it to ripen." In this 
way he concealed his uneasiness, and tranquillized 
the minds of his officers, although he felt the wrongs 
they suffered, and approved the spirit that would not 
tamely submit to them. 

As to himself, it was not so much the smallness of 
the pay, that gave him concern, as the mdignity and 
injustice of having his services estimated at a lower 
rate, than in the British establishment, when in reality 
no service could be more severe and hazardous, or 
less promismg of glory, than the one in which he was 
engaged. **Now if we could be fortunate enough," 
said he, "to drive the French from the Ohio, as far 
as your Honor would please to have them sent, in 
any short time, our pay will not be sufficient to dis- 
charge our first expenses. I would not have you 
imagine from this, that I have said all these things 
to have our pay mcreased, but to justify myself and 
to show you that our complaints are not fiivolous, 
but founded on strict reason. For my own part, it is 



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iET.22.] LIFE OP WASHINGTON. 51 

a matter almost indifferent, whether I serve for ftdl 
pay, or as a generous volunteer. Indeed, did my cir- 
cumstances correspond with my inclinations, I should 
not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter; for the 
motives that have led me here are pure and noble. 
I had no view of acquisition, but that of honor, by 
serving my King and country." In this declaration, 
uttered in the smcerity of his heart, we perceive the 
principles, the eminent virtues, that dictated every act 
of his public life. 

Colonel Fry having died suddenly at Will's Creek, 
while on his way to job the army, the chief com- 
mand devolved on Colonel Washington. Recruits were 
brought forward by Major Muse. The North Car- 
olina troops, to the number of about three hundred 
and fifty, led by Colonel Innes, arrived at Winches- 
ter. The governor was then in that town, holding 
a council with Indians, and he appointed Innes com- 
mander of the expedition, but confirmed Colonel Wash- 
ington's command of the Virginia regunent 

The appomtment of Innes was an unpopular meas- 
ure in Virginia, as he was fix)m another colony; and 
the governor was accused of partiality for an old fiiend 
and countryman, both he and Innes bemg Scotchmen 
by birth. No ill consequences ensued. Neither Colo- 
nel Innes nor his troops advanced beyond Winchester. 
To promote enlistments the men were extravagantiy 
paid ; and, when the money raised by the Assembly for 
their suppwt was expended, they dispersed of their 
own accord. An Independent Company fix)m South 
Carolina, consisting of one hundred men under Cap- 
tain Mackay, arrived at the Great Meadows. Two 
companies fit)m New York landed at Alexandria, and 
marched to the mterior, but not in tune to overtake 
or succour the army in advance. 



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52 LIFE OF WASHINGTON. [1754. 

It was foreseen by Colonel Washington, that, when 
the French at Fort Duquesne should get the news of 
Jumonville's defeat, a strong detachment would be 
sent out agamst him. As a preparation for this event, 
he set all his men at work to enlarge the entrenchment 
at the Great Meadows, and erect palisades. To the 
structure thus hastily thrown up he gave the name 
of Fort jyecessity. 

The Indians, who leaned to the English interest, 
fled before the French and flocked to the camp, bring- 
ing along their wives and children, and putting them 
under his protection. Among them came Tanacha- 
rison and his people, Queen Aliquippa and her son, 
and other persons of distinction, till between forty and 
fifty families gathered around him, and laid his mag- 
azine of supplies under a heavy contribution. It may 
be said, once for all, that the burden of supporting 
these sons of the forest during this campaign, and the 
perplexities of managing them, were by no means coun- 
terbalanced by any advantage derived from their aid. 
As spies and scouts they were of some service; in 
the field they did nothing. 

The forces at the Great Meadows, mcluding Cap- 
tain Mackay's company, had now increased to about 
four hundred men. But a new difficulty arose, which 
threatened disagreeable consequences. Captain Mackay 
had a royal commission, which in his opinion put him 
above the authority of Colonel Washington, who was 
a colonial officer, commissioned by the governor of 
Virgmia. He was a man of mild and gentlemanly 
manners, and no personal differences interrupted the 
harmony between them ; but still he declined receiving 
the orders of the colonel, and his company occupied 
a separate encampment At this crisis, when an at- 
tack was daily expected, and when a perfect union 



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iET.22.] LIFE OP WASHINGTON. 63 

of design and action was essentia], such a state of 
things was so unpropitious, that Colonel Washington 
wrote earnestly to the governor to settle the contro- 
versy by a positive order under his own hand. The 
governor hesitated, because he was not sure, that Cap- 
tain Mackay's pretensions were mconsistent with the 
rule adopted by the ministry, namely, that all officers 
with Ejng's commissions should take rank of those 
commissioned in the colonies. 

To avoid altercation, and prevent the contagious 
example of disobedience from infecting the troops, 
Colonel Washington resolved to advance with a large 
part of his army, and, if not obstructed by the enemy, 
to go on by the shortest route to the Monongahela 
River. Captain Mackay's company was left at Fort 
Necessity, as a guard to that post. The road was to 
be cleared and levelled for artillery carriages ; and the 
process was so laborious, that it took two weeks to 
effect a passage through the gorge of the mountains 
to Gist's setdement, a distance of only thirteen miles. 
The Indians were troublesome with their speeches, 
councils, and importunides for presents, particularly a 
party from the mterior, who feigned friendship, but 
who were discovered to be spies from the French. 
Due vigilance was practised, and scouts were kept 
abroad, even as far as the neighbourhood of Fort Du- 
quesne, so that the first motions of the enemy might 
be detected. 

It was at length told by French deserters and In- 
dians, that Fort Duquesne was reinforced by troops 
from Canada, and that a strong detachment would 
shortly march against the English. A council of war 
being called, it was at first thought best to make a 
stand, and wait the approach of the enemy at Gisf s 
plantation. An intrenchment for defence was begun. 



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64 LIFE OF WASHINGTON. [1754. 

Captain Mackay was requested to come forward with 
his company, and the scouting parties were ordered 
to return to the camp. Captain Mackay promptly 
joined the advanced division ; and another council de- 
cided, that the enemy's force was so large, as to leave 
no reasonable hope of a successful resistance, and that 
a retreat was necessary. 

In the face of many obstacles this determination was 
executed. The horses were few and weak, and a 
severe service was imposed on the men, who were 
obliged to bear heavy burdens, and drag nme swivels 
over a broken road. Colonel Washington set a worthy 
example to his officers, by lading his horse with pub- 
lic stores, gomg on foot, and paying the soldiers a 
reward for carrying his baggage. In two days they 
all got back to the Great Meadows. It was not the 
mtention to stop there; but the men had become so 
much fatigued and distressed for the want of provisions, 
that they could go no further. For eight days they 
had been without bread. A small quantity of flour 
only was found at the Great Meadows, but supplies 
were houriy expected ; and, in this exigency, no other 
course remained, than to fortify themselves as well as 
they could, and abide the issue of events. 

Fort Necessity was situate in a level meadow, about 
two hundred and fifty yards broad, and covered with 
long grass and low bushes. The foot of the nearest 
hills came within one hundred yards of the fort, and 
at one place within sixty yards. The space between 
the fort and hills was open and smooth, the bushes 
havmg been cleared away. The fort itself was an 
irregukff square, each side measuring thirty-five yards, 
with a trench partly finished on two sides. The en- 
trances were guarded by three bastions. 

" On the 3d of July eariy m the morning an alarm 



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iET.22.] LIFE OP WASHINGTON. 55 

was received from a sentinel, who had been wounded 
by the enemy; and at nine o'clock intelligence came, 
that the whole body of the enemy, amounting, as was 
reported, to nine himdred men, was only four miles 
oft At eleven o'clock they approached the fort, and 
began to fire, at the distance of six hundred yards, 
but without eflfect Colonel Washington had drawn 
up his men on the open and level ground outside of 
the trenches, waiting for the attack, which he presumed 
would be made as soon as the enemy's forces emerged 
from the woods; and he ordered his men to reserve 
their fire, till they should be near enough to do exe- 
cution. The distant fiiring was supposed to be a strat- 
agem to draw Washington's men mto the woods, and 
thus to take them at a disadvantage. He suspected 
the design, and maintained his post till he found the 
French did not mcline to leave the woods, and attack 
the fort by an assault, as he supposed they would, 
considering their superiority of numbers. He then 
drew his men back within the trenches, and gave 
them orders to fire according to theu* discretion, as 
suitable opportimities might present themselves. The 
French and Indians remained on the side of the rising 
ground, which was nearest to the fort, and, sheltered 
by the trees, kept up a brisk fire of musketry, but 
never appeared in the open plam below. The rain 
fell heavily through the day, the trenches were filled 
with water, and many of the arms of Colonel Wash- 
mgton's men were out of order, and used with diffi- 
culty. 

"In this way the battle continued from eleven o'clock 
in the mommg till eight at night, when the French 
called and requested a parley. Suspectmg this to be 
a femt to procure the admission of an officer into the 
fort, that he might discover their condition, Colonel 



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56 LIFE OF WASHINGTON. [1754. 

Washington at first declined listening to the proposal, 
but when the call was repeated, with the additional 
request that an officer might be sent to them, engag- 
bg at the same time their parole for his safety, he 
sent out Captain Vanbraam, the only person under 
his command, that could speak French, except the 
Chevalier de Peyrouny, an ensign m the Virginia regi- 
ment, who was dangerously wounded, and disabled 
from rendering any service on this occasion. Van- 
braam returned, and brought with him fi^om M. de Vil- 
liers, the French commander, proposed articles of capit- 
ulation. These he read and pretended to interpret, 
and, some changes having been made by mutual agree- 
ment, both parties signed them about midnight 

" By the terms of the capitulation, the whole garrison 
was to retire, and return without molestation to the 
inhabited parts of the country ; and the French com- 
mander promised, that no embarrassment should be 
interposed, either by his own men or the savages. 
The English were to take away every thing in their 
possession, except then* artillery, and to march out of 
the fort the next morning with the honors of war, their 
drums beating and colors flying. As the French had 
killed all the horses and catrie, Colonel Washington 
had no means of transporting his heavy baggage and 
stores ; and it was conceded to him, that his men 
might conceal their effects, and that a guard might 
be left to protect them, till horses could be sent up 
to take them away. Colonel Washington agreed to 
restore the prisoners, who had been taken at the skir- 
mish with Jumonville ; and, as a surety for this article 
two hostages, Captain Vanbraam and Captain Stobo, 
were delivered up to the French, and were to be re- 
tained till the prisoners should return. It was more- 
over agreed, that the party capitulating should not 



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iBT.92.] LIFE OP WASHINGTON. 67 

attempt to build any more establishments at that place, 
or beyond the mountains for the space of a year. 

" Early the next morning Colonel Washington began 
to march from the fort in good order, but he had pro- 
ceeded only a short distance, when a body of one 
hundred Indians, bemg a reinforcement to the French, 
came upon him, and could hardly be restrained from 
attacking his men. They pilfered the baggage and 
did other mischief. He marched forward, however, 
with as much speed as possible, in the weakened and 
encumbered condition of his army, there being no 
other mode of conveying the wounded men and the 
baggage, than on the soldiers' backs. As the provis- 
ions were nearly exhausted, no time was to be lost; 
and, leaving much of the baggage behmd, he hastened 
to Will's Creek, where all the necessary supplies were 
in store. Thence Colonel Washington and Captain 
Mackay proceeded to Williamsburg, and communicated 
in person to the govemw the events of the cam- 
paign.*' * 

The exact number of men engaged in the ac- 
tion cannot be ascertained. According to a return 
made out by Colonel Washington himself, the Virginia 
regiment consisted of three hundred and five, mdud- 
ing oflScers, of whom twelve were killed and forty- 
three, wounded. Captain Mackay's company was sup- 
posed to contain about one hundred, but die number 
of killed and wounded is not known. 

The conduct of the commander and of the troops 
was highly approved by the governor and Council, and 
received merited applause from the public As soon 
as the House of Burgesses assembled, they passed a 
vote of thanks to Colonel Washington and his officers 

* See Waahington's Writings, Vol. IL p. 456, Appendix. 
VOL. I. 8 



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58 LIFE OP WASHINGTON. [1754. 

^ior their bravery and gallant defence of their coun- 
try.** A pistole was granted from the public treasury 
to each of the soldiers. 

Thus commenced the military career of Washing- 
ton, and thus ended his first campaign. Although as 
yet a youth, with small experience, imskilled m war, 
and relying on his own resources, he had behaved 
with the prud^ice, address, courage, and firmness of 
a veteran commander. Rigid in discipline, but sharing 
the hardships and solicitous for the welfare of his sol- 
diers, he had secured their obedience and won their 
esteem amidst privations, sufferings, and perils, that 
have seldom been surpassed. 

Notwithstanding the late discomfiture. Governor Din- 
widdie's ardor did not abate. It was indeed a foible 
with him, that his zeal outstripped his knowledge and 
discretion. Wholly ignorant of military affairs, he un- 
dertook to organize the army, prescribe rules, issue 
orders, form plans of operation, and manage the de- 
tails. Hence frequent blunders and confusion. Colo- 
nel Washington rejoined his regiment, which had 
marched by way of Winchester to Alexandria. He 
there received orders to fill up the companies by en- 
listments, and lead them without delay to Will's Creek, 
where Colonel /Innes was employed in building Fort 
Cumberland, with the remnant of the North Carolina 
troops, and the three independent companies, that had 
come to Virginia torn South CaroUna and New York. 
It was the governor's project, that the imited forces 
should immediately cross the Alleganies, and drive the 
French torn Fort Duquesne, or build another fort be- 
yond the mountains. 

Astonished that such a scheme should be contem- 
plated, at a season of the year when the mountains 
would be rendered impassable by the snows and rigor 



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iET.22.] LIFE OF WASHINGTON. 59 

of the climate, and with an army destitute of supplies^ 
feeble m numbers, and worn down by fatigue, Colonel 
Washington wrote a letter of strong remonstrance to 
a member of the governor's Council, representing the 
absxu'dity and even impossibility of such an enterprise. 
His regiment was reduced by death, wounds, and sick- 
ness. He was ordered to obtain recruits, but not a 
farthing of money had been provided. He was or- 
dered to march, but his men had neither arms, tents, 
ammunition, clothing, nor provisions, sufficient to enable 
them to take the field, and no means existed for 
procuring them. It is enough to say, that the scheme 
was abandoned. 

The governor was destined to struggle with difficul- 
ties, and to have his hopes defeated. The Assembly 
were so perverse, as not to yield to all his demands, 
and he never ceased to complain of theu* " republican 
way of thmking,*' and to deplore their want of respect 
for the authority of his office and the prerogative of 
the crown. He had lately prorogued them, as a pun- 
ishment for their obstinacy, and written to the ministry, 
that the representatives of the people seemed to hun 
iniatuated, and that he was satisfied ^^the progress of 
the French would never be effectually opposed, but 
by means of an act of Parliament to compel the colo- 
nies to contribute to the common cause mdependently 
of assemblies." When the burgesses came together 
again, however, he was consoled by their good nature 
m granting twenty thousand pounds for the public ser- 
vice; and he soon received ten thousand pounds in 
specie fix)m the government m England for the same 
object 

Thus encouraged he formed new plans, and as the 

jgift of ten thousand pounds was under his control, he 

^ ^ould appropriate it as he pleased. He enlarged the 

J 



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60 LIFE OF WASHINGTON. [1755. 

army to ten companies, of one hundred men each, 
and put the whole upon the establishment of indepen- 
dent companies, by which the highest officers in the 
Virginia regiment would be captains, and even these 
inferior to officers of the same rank holding King's 
commissions. The effect was to reduce Colonel Wash- 
ington to the rank of captain, and put him under offi- 
cers whom he had commanded. Such a degradation, 
of course, was not to be submitted to by a high-minded 
man. He resigned his commission, and retired from 
the army. 

Governor Sharpe, of Maryland, soon after received 
an appointment from the King as commander-in-chief 
of the forces employed to act against the French. 
Knowing Colonel Washmgton's character, and the im- 
portance of his aid. Governor Sharpe solicited him, by 
a letter from himself and another from one of his offi- 
cers, to resume his station. It was intimated, that he 
might hold his former commission. "This idea,'* said 
Washington in reply, "has filled me with surprise; 
for, if you think me capable of holding a commission, 
that has neither rank nor emolument annexed to it, 
you must entertain a very contemptible opinion of my 
weakness, and believe me to be more empty than the 
commission itself." He promptly declined the invita- 
tion, and added ; " I shall have the consolation of 
knowing, that I have opened the way, when the small- 
ness of our numbers exposed us to the attacks of a 
superior enemy; and that I have had the thanks of 
my country for the services I have rendered." 

Thus sustained withm himself, neither seeking re- 
dress nor ventmg complaints, he passed the winter m 
retirement He acknowledged his partiality, however, 
for the profession of arms, and his ambition to acquire 
experience and skill in the military art Nor did he 
wait long for an opportunity to gratify his wishes. 



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^T.23.] LIFE OF WASHINGTON. 61 

Earij in the spring, General Braddock landed in 
Virginia, with two regiments of regular troops from 
Great Britain, which it was supposed would bear down 
all opposition, and drive back the intruding French to 
Canada. The people were elated with joy, and al- 
ready the war on the frontier seemed hastening to an 
end. Colonel Washington acceded to a request from 
General Braddock to take part in the campsdgn as 
one of his military family, in which he would retain 
his former rank, and the objections on that score would 
be obviated. 

His views on the subject were explained, with a 
becoming frankness and elevation of mind, in a letter 
to a friend. "I may be allowed," said he, "to claim 
some merit, if it is considered that the sole motive, 
which invites me to the field, is the laudable desire 
of serving my country, not the gratification of any am- 
bitious or lucrative plans. This, I flatter myself will 
manifestly appear by my going as a volunteer without 
expectation of reward, or prospect of obtsdning a com- 
mand, as I am confidently assured it is not in General 
Braddock's power to give me a commission that I 
would accept" Again, " If there is any merit in my 
case, I am unwilling to hazard it among my fiiends, 
without this exposition of facts, as they might con- 
ceive that some advantageous ofiers had engaged my 
services, when, in reality, it is otherwise, for I expect 
to be a considerable loser m my private affairs by go- 
ing. It is true I have been importuned to make this 
campaign by General Braddock, as a member of his 
family, he conceiving, I suppose, that the small knowl- 
edge I have had an opportunity of acquiring of the 
country and the Indians is worthy of his notice, and 
may be usefiil to him in the progress of the expedi- 
tion." Influenced by these honorable and generous 

VOL. I. r 



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62 LIFE OP WASHINGTON. [1755. 

motiyes, he accepted the offer, and prepared to engage 
m the service as a volunteer. 

Several companies of Braddock's two regiments were 
cantoned at Alexandria, at which place the commander 
himself met the governors of five colonies, in order to 
concert a general scheme of military operations. Colo- 
nel Washington was introduced to diese gentlemen; 
and the manner in which he was received by them 
gave a flattering testimony of the consideration, which 
his name and character had already inspired. With 
the deportment and civilities of Governor Shirley he 
was particularly pleased. 

General Braddock marched to the interior, and was 
overtaken by Colonel Washington at Winchester, when 
the latter assumed the station and duties of aid-de- 
camp. The troops followed m divisions by different 
routes, and all assembled at Will's Creek. Here the 
general was disappointed, vexed, and thrown into par- 
oxysms of ill humor, at not finding in readiness the 
horses and wagons, which had been promised, and 
on which he depended for transporting the baggage, 
tents, provisions, and artillery beyond that post The 
contractors had proved fsuthless, either fi-om neglect 
or inability. 

The embarrassment was at last removed by the pa- 
triotic zeal and activity of Franklin. Being postmaster- 
general of the provinces, he visited the commander 
during his march, with the view of devising some plan 
to facilitate the transmission of the mail to and irom 
the army. On certain conditions he agreed to pro- 
cure one hundred and fifty wagons, and the requisite 
number of horses. By prompt exertions, and by his 
uifluence among the farmers of Pennsylvania, he ob- 
tained them all and sent them to Will's Creek. This 
act was praised by General Braddock m a letter to 



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iET.23.] LIFE OP WASHINGTON. 63 

the ministry; but he passed a severe censure upon 
the authorities of the country by adding, **that it was 
the only mstance of address and integrity, which he had 
seen m the provmces/' It is true, that by this timely 
aid alone his army was enabled to move. 

While these preparations were in progress, Colonel 
Washington was sent on a mission to Williamsburg to 
procure money for the military chest. The trust was 
executed with despatch and success. On returning 
to camp he found, that a detachment of five hundred 
men had marched in advance ; and all the troops were 
immediately put m motion, except a small party left 
as a guard at Fort Cumberland. The scene was new 
to the general and his officers, and obstacles presented 
themselves at every step, which they had not antici- 
pated. The roughness of the road made it hnpossible 
for the usual number of horses to drag the wagons, 
loaded as they were, not only with the supplies and 
munitions, but with superfluous baggage and the camp 
equipage of the officers; and they were obliged to 
double the teams, thus detaming the whole train of 
wagons, till those in iront were forced along by this 
tedious process. 

It was soon apparent, that, with these hindrances, the 
season might be consumed in crossing the mountains. 
A council of war was resorted to; but before it met, 
the general privately asked the opinion of Colonel 
Washington. " I urged him,** said he, " in the warmest 
terms I was able, to push forward, if he even did it 
with a small but chosen band, with such artillery and 
light stores as were necessary, leaving the heavy ar- 
tillery and baggage with the rear division to follow by 
slow and easy marches, which they might do safely 
while we were advancing in fit)nf His reason for 
pressing this measure was, that, torn the best advices, 



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64 LIFE OP WASHINGTON. [1755. 

an accession of force was shortly expected at Fort 
Duquesne, and that it was of the utmost moment to 
make the attack before such an event should occur. It 
was moreover important to divide the army, because 
the narrowness of the road, and the difficulty of get- 
ting the wagons along, caused it to be stretched mto 
a line four miles in length, by which the soldiers were 
so much scattered, that they might be attacked and 
routed at any pomt, even by small parties, before a 
proper force could be brought to their support 

These suggestions prevailed in the council, and were 
approved by the general. The army was separated 
into two divisions. Braddock led the advanced divis- 
ion of twelve hundred men lightly equipped, taking 
only such carriages and articles as were absolutely es- 
sential. Colonel Dunbar, with the residue of the army, 
about six hundred, remained in the rear. 

At this time Colonel Washington was seized with 
a raging fever, which was so violent as to alarm the phy- 
sician ; and, as an act of humanity, the general ordered 
him to proceed no further, till the danger was over; 
with a solemn pledge, that he should be brought up 
to the front of the army before it should reach the 
French fort Consigned to a wagon, and to the phy- 
sician's care, he continued with the rear division nearly 
two weeks, when he was enabled to be moved for- 
ward by slow stages, but not without much pam from 
weakness and the jolting of the vehicle. He overtook 
the general at the mouth of the Youghiogany River, 
fifteen miles from Fort Duquesne, the evening before 
the battle of the Monongahela. 

"The officers and soldiers were now in the highest 
spirits, and firm in the conviction, that they should 
within a few hours victoriously enter the walls of Fort 
Duquesne. The steep and rugged grounds, on the 



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iET.2a] LIFE OP WASHINGTON. 66 

north side of the Monongahela, prevented the army 
from marching in that direction, and it was necessary 
in approaching the fort, now about fifteen miles dis- 
tant, to ford the river twice, and march a part of the 
way on the south side. Early on the morning of the 
9th, all things were in readiness, and the whole train 
passed through the river a little below the mouth of 
the Youghiogany, and proceeded in perfect order along 
the southern margin of the Monongahela. Washmgton 
was often heard to say during his lifetime, that the 
most beautiful spectacle he had ever beheld was the 
display of the British troops on this eventful morning. 
Every man was neatly dressed in full uniform, the sol- 
diers were arranged in columns and marched in exact 
order, the sun gleamed from their burnished arms, the 
river flowed tranquilly on their right, and the deep 
forest overshadowed them with solemn grandeur on 
their left. OflScers and men were equally inspirited 
with cheering hopes and confident anticipations. 

"In this manner they marched forward till about noon, 
when they arrived at the second crossmg-place, ten 
miles from Fort Duquesne. They halted but a little 
time, and then began to ford the river and regain its 
northern bank. As soon as they had crossed, they 
came upon a level plain, elevated only a few feet above 
the surface of the river, and extending northward nearly 
half a mile from its margm. Then commenced a grad- 
ual ascent at an angle of about three degrees, which 
terminated in hills of a considerable height at no great 
distance beyond. The road from the fording-place to 
Fort Duquesne led across the plain and up this ascent, 
and thence proceeded through an uneven country, at 
that tune covered with wood. 

"By the order of march, a body of three hundred 
men, under Colonel Gage, made Ae advanced party, 

VOL. I. 9 F * 



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66 LIFE OP WASHINGTON. [1755. 

which was hnmediately followed by another of two 
hundred Next came the general with the columns 
of artillery, the main body of the army, and the bag- 
gage. At one o'clock, the whole had crossed the river, 
and almost at this moment a sharp firing was heard 
upon the advanced parties, who were now ascending 
the hill, and had proceeded about a hundred yards 
from the termination of the plain. A heavy discharge 
of musketry was poured in upon their fit)nt, which was 
the first intelligence they had of the proximity of an 
enemy, and this was suddenly followed by another on 
their right flank. They were filled with the greater 
consternation, as no enemy was in sight, and the firing 
seemed to proceed from an invisible foe. They fired 
in their turn, however, but quite at random and ob- 
viously without effect 

" The general hastened forward to the relief of the 
advanced parties ; but, before he could reach the spot 
which they occupied, they gave way and fell back upon 
the artillery and the other columns of the army, causing 
extreme confusion, and strikmg the whole mass with 
such a panic, that no order could afterwards be restored. 
The general and the officers behaved with the utmost 
courage, and used every effort to rally the men, and 
bring them to order, but aU in vain. In this state they 
continued neariy three hours, huddling together in con- 
fused bodies, firing irregularly, shooting down their 
ovm officers and men, and doing no perceptible harm 
to the enemy. The Virginia provincials were the only 
troops, who seemed to retain their senses, and they 
behaved with a bravery and resolution worthy of a 
better fate. They adopted the Indian mode, and fought 
each man for himself behind a tree. This was pro- 
hibited by the general, who endeavoured to form his 
men mto platoons and columns, as if they had been 



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^T.23.] LIFE OF WASHINGTON. 67 

manceuvring on the plains of Flanders. Meantime the 
French and Indians, concealed m the ravines and be- 
hind trees, kept up a deadly and unceasing discharge 
of musketry, singling out their objects, taking delib- 
erate aim, and producing a carnage almost unparalleled 
m the annals of modem wai-fere. More than half of 
the whole army, which had crossed the river in so 
proud an array only three hours before, were killed 
or wounded. The general himself received a mortal 
woxmd, and many of his best officers fell by his side.'' * 
During the whole of the action, as reported by an 
officer who witnessed his conduct. Colonel Washmg- 
ton behaved with "the greatest courage and resolu- 
tion." Captams Orme and Morris, the two other aids- 
de-camp, were wounded and disabled, and the duty 
of distributing the general's orders devolved on him 
alone. He rode in every direction, and was a con- 
spicuous mark for the enemy's sharp-shooters. "By 
the all-powerful dispensations of Providence," said he, 
in a letter to his brother, "I have been protected be- 
yond all human probability or expectation; for I had 
four bullets through my coat, and two horses shot un- 
der me, yet I escaped unhurt, although death was 
levelling my companions on every side of me." So 
bloody a contest has rarely been witnessed. The 
number of officers in the engagement was eighty-six, 
of whom twenty-six were killed, and thirty-seven 
wounded. The killed and wounded of the privates 
amounted to seven hundred and fourteen. On the 
other hand, the enemy's loss was small Their force 
amounted at least to eight hundred and fifty men, of 
whom six hundred were Indians. According to the 
returns, not more than forty were killed. They fought 

* See Washington's Writings, Vol. II. p. 469, Appendix. 



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68 LIFE OP WASHINGTON. [1755. 

in deep ravines, concealed by the bushes, and the balls 
of the English passed over their heads. 

The remnant of Braddock's army bemg put to flight, 
and having recrossed the river, Colonel Washington 
hastened to meet Colonel Dunbar, and order up horses 
and wagons for the wounded. Three days were oc- 
cupied in retreatmg to Gist's plantation. The enemy 
did not pursue them. Satiated with carnage and plun- 
der, the Indians could not be tempted from the battle- 
field, and the French were too few to act without their 
aid. The unfortunate general, dying of his wounds, 
was transported first in a tumbril, then on a horse, and 
at last was carried by the soldiers. He expired the 
fourth day after the battle, and was buried in the road 
near Fort Necessity. A new panic seized the troops ; 
disorder and confusion reigned; the artillery was de- 
stroyed; the public stores and heavy baggage were 
burnt, no one could tell by whose orders; nor were 
disciplme and tranquillity restored, till the straggling 
and bewildered companies arrived at Fort Cumberland. 
Colonel Washmgton, no longer connected with the 
service, and debilitated by his late illness, stayed there 
a few days to regain strength, and then returned to 
Mount Vernon.* 

'^ * A report has long been current in Pennsylvania, that Braddock 
was shot by one of his own men, founded on the declaration of a pro- 
vincial solder, who was in the action. There is another tradition, also, 
worthy of notice, which rests on the authority of Dr. Craik, the intimate 
friend of Washington from his boyhood to his death, and who was with 
him at the battle of the Monongahela. Fifteen years aft«r that event, 
they travelled togetiier on an expedition to the western country, with 
a party of woodsmen, for liie purpose of exploring wild lands. While 
near the junction of the Great Eenhawa and Ohio Rivers, a company 
of Indians came to them with an interpreter, at the head of whom was 
an aged and venerable chief. This personage made known to them 
by the interpreter, that, hearing Colonel Washington waa in that region, 
he had come a long way to visit him, adding, that, during the battle of the 
Monongahela, he had singled him out as a conspicuous object, fired his 



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Mt.23.] life op WASHINGTON. 69 

Such was the termmation of an enterprise, one of 
the most memorable in American history, and almost 
unparalleled for its disasters, and the universal disap- 
pointment and consternation it occasioned. Notwith- 
standing its total and even disgraceful failure, the bit- 
ter invectives everywhere poured out against its prin- 
cipal conductors, and the reproaches heaped upon the 
memory of its ill-fated commander, yet the fame and 
character of Washmgton were greatly enhanced by it 
His intrepidity and good conduct were lauded by his 
companions in arms, and proclaimed from province to 
province. Contrary to his will, and in spite of his efforts, 
he had gathered laureb from the defeat and ruin of others. 
Had the expedition been successful, these laurels would 
have adorned the brow of his superiors. It might have 
been said of him, that he had done his duty, and ac- 
quitted himself honorably ; but he could not have been 
the prominent and single object of public regard ; nor 
could he, by a long series of common events, have 
risen to so high an eminence, or acquired in so wide 
a sphere the admiration and confidence of the people. 
For himself, for his country, for mankind, therefore, 
this catastrophe, m appearance so calamitous and so 
deeply deplored at the time, should unquestionably be 
considered as a wise and beneficent dispensation of 
Providence. 

It was known, that he gave prudent counsel to 
General Braddock, which was little heeded. During 
the march, a body of Indians offered their services, 

rifle at him many times, and directed his young warriors to do the same, 
but to his utter astonishment none of their balls took effect He was 
then persuaded, that the youthfld hero was under the special ^ardian- 
ship of the Great Spirit, and ceased to fire at him any longer. He was 
now come to pay homage to the man, who was the particular favorite 
of Heaven, and who could never die in battle." — WasUngUyrCa fFriUngs, 
Vol. II. p. 475, Appendix. 



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70 LIFE OP WASHINGTON. [1755. 

which, at the earnest recommendation and request of 
Washington, were accepted, but in so cold a manner, 
and the Indians were treated with so much neglect, 
that they withdrew one after another m disgust. On 
the evening preceding the action, they came again to 
camp, and renewed their oflTer. Agam Colonel Wash- 
ington interposed, and urged the importance of these 
men as scouts and out-guards, their knowledge of the 
ground, and skill in fightmg among woods. Relying 
on the prowess of his regular troops, and disdaining 
such allies, the general peremptorily refused to receive 
them, in a tone not more decided than ungracious.* 
Had a scouting party of a dozen Indians preceded the 
army after it crossed the Monongahela, they would 
have detected the enemy m the ravmes, and reversed 
the fortunes of the day. 

General Braddock was a brave man and an expe- 
rienced officer; but, arrogant and obstinate, he had 
the weakness, at all times a folly and m his case an 
in&tuation, to despise his enemy. Ignorant of the 
country, of the mode of warfare in which he was en- 
gaged, and of the force opposed to him, he refused 
counsel, neglected precautions, and thus lost his life. 

♦ This was told to me by William Butler, a very old man, who had 
been a soldier in the action of the Monongahela, and who said he was 
standing as sentinel at the door of the General's tent, and heard the 
conversation. Seventy-five years after the battle, there were at least 
two men living in Pennsylvania, who were engaged in it 



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^^r.98.] LIFE OP WASHINGTON. 71 



CHAPTER IV. 

Colonel Washing^]! appointed Commander-in-chief of the Virginia 
Forces. — Distresses of the Frontier Inhabitants. — Reforms in the 
Arrangement and Discipline of the Army. — Difl5culties with an Officer 
holding a King's Commission concerning Rank. — Washington visits 
General Shirley at Boston upon this Subject. — His Claim confirmed. 
— Returns and repairs to his Head-quarters at Winchester. — Embar- 
rassments of his Situation. — Testimonies of Confidence in his Char- 
acter and Ability. — Occurrences of the Campaign. — Incursions of 
the Savages. — Plan of Fortifications for the Interior. ^ Fort Cum- 
berland. — Memorial presented by Colonel Washington to the Earl of 
Loudoun on the State of Military Affairs in Virginia. 

Although Colonel Washington retired to a pri- 
vate station at Mount Vernon, he did not neglect his 
duties to the public Still holding the office of adjutant- 
general of the militia, he circulated orders for them to 
assemble at certain times and places to be exercised 
and reviewed. So much were the inhabitants alarmed 
at the recent successes of the enemy, that their mar- 
tial spirit received a new impulse, and volunteer com- 
panies began to be organized. Their ardor was stim- 
ulated from the pulpit, and it was m a sermon to one 
of these companies, that the accomplished and eloquent 
Samuel Davies pronounced the celebrated encomium 
m a single sentence, which has often been quoted as 
prophetic. After praising the zeal and courage, which 
had been shown by the Virginia troops, the preacher 
added ; " As a remarkable mstance of this, I may pomt 
out to the public that heroic youth. Colonel Wash- 
bgton, whom I cannot but hope Providence has hith- 
erto preserved in so signal a manner for some important 
service to his country." This was but the echo of 
the general voice, and it is a proof of the high esti- 
mation in which the character of Washington was at 



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701 



W 1 T^ T:* r\TX \*T A Ct TT ¥ T^T ^^ m ^-\ T^T 



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iBT.23.] LIFE OP WASHINGTON. 73 

system of military regulations, more promptness in pay- 
ing the troops, and a thorough reform, inducing activ- 
ity and method, m all the departments for procuring 
supplies. 

No one, probably, was more surprised than himself 
that all his requisitions should be complied with. The 
appointment was confirmed in the fiiUest latitude of 
his demands, with the additional privilege of an sud- 
de-camp and secretary. He had been at home but 
four weeks, when he was called to Williamsburg to 
receive his instructions and make arrangements for or- 
ganizing the new army. Public opinion had subdued 
the governor's partiality for another candidate, and he 
acquiesced with apparent satisfaction. In a letter to 
the ministry, he spoke of Colonel Washington as "a 
man of great merit and resolution," adding, " I am con- 
vinced, if General Braddock had survived, he would 
have recommended him to the royal favor, which I 
beg your interest in recommending." How far the 
minister's interest was effectual is uncertain ; but no 
royal favor to Washington ever crossed the Atlantic 

Being now established in a command of high respon- 
sibility, he applied himself to the discharge of its duties 
with his accustomed energy and circumspection. Lieu- 
tenant-Colonel Adam Stephen and Major Andrew 
Lewis were the field-officers next in rank. His head- 
quarters were fixed at Winchester. After putting af- 
fairs in train, sending out recruiting officers, and re- 
porting to the governor the state of the old regiment 
and estimates for the new, he performed a tour of 
inspection among the mountains, visiting all the out- 
posts along the fit)ntier fit)m Fort Cumberland to Fort 
Dinwiddie on Jackson's River, giving the necessary 
orders, and obtaining, irom personal observation, a 
knowledge of every thing within the compass of his 

VOL. I. 10 G 



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74 LIFE OP WASHINGTON. [1755. 

command. Scarcely was this service completed, when 
an express overtook him, on his way to Williamsburg, 
bringing intelligence that the Indians had broken in- 
to the back setdements, committed ravages and mur- 
ders, and spread terror on every side. He hastened 
back to head-quarters, called in the recruits, sum- 
moned the militia to assemble, and ordered out such 
a force as he could muster to repel the ruthless m- 
vaders. The check was timely and effectual, but not 
such as to quiet the fears of the inhabitants, who flock- 
ed in families from their homes; and so great was 
the panic, that many of them continued their flight 
till they had crossed the Blue Ridge. 

On this occasion the patience and sensibility of the 
commander, as well as his discretion and address, were 
put to a severe trial. On one hand, he witnessed with 
an aching heart the dangers, wants, and distresses 
of the inhabitants; on the other, he experienced all 
the evils of insubordination among the troops, per- 
verseness in the militia, inactivity in the officers, dis- 
regard of orders, and reluctance in the civil authorities 
to render a proper support And what added to his 
mortification was, that the laws gave him no power to 
correct these evils, either by enforcing discipBne, or 
compelling the indolent and refractory to do their duty. 
The army regulations had been reformed, but they 
were still deficient in the essential articles for prevent- 
ing desertions, punishing offences, and securing obe- 
dience. The militia system was suited only to times 
of peace. It provided for calling out men to repel 
invasion; but the powers granted for effectmg it were 
so limited, as to be almost inoperative. 

These defects, and their fatal consequences, were 
represented in strong language by Colonel Washington, 
in his official communications to the governor and to 



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76 LIFE OF WASHINGTON. [1756. 



1 • 1 1 



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JBt.23.] life op WASHINGTON. 77 

Majesty's armies in America; and it was the request 
of the oflSicers, that the petition should be presented 
by Colonel Washington in person. The proposal was 
approved by the governor, who consented to his ab- 
sence, and furnished him with letters to the General 
and other persons of distinction. 

Despatching orders to Colonel Stephen, who was 
left with the command of the Virginia troops, he made 
no delay in preparing for his departure. He commenced 
his tour on the 4th of February, 1766. General Shir- 
ley was at Boston. A journey of five hundred miles 
was to be performed in die depth of winter. Attended 
by his aid-de-camp. Captain Mercer, and by Captain 
Stewart, he travelled the whole way on horseback, 
pursuing the route through Philadelphia, New York, 
New London, and Rhode Island. He stopped several 
days in the principal cities, where his character, and 
the curiosity to see a person so renowned for his bra- 
very and miraculous escape at Braddock's defeat, pro- 
cured for him much notice. He was politely received 
by General Shiriey, who acceded to his petition in its 
fullest extent, giving a pomted order in writing, that 
Dagworthy should be subject to his command. The 
journey was advantageous in other respects. The 
plan of operations for the coming campaign was ex- 
plained to him by the General ; and he formed acquaint- 
ances and acquired knowledge eminently useful to him 
at a future day. He was absent fcom Virginia seven 
weeks;. 

While m New York, he was lodged and kindly en- 
tertained at the house of Mr. Beverley Robinson, be- 
tween whom and himself an intimacy of fiiendship 
subsisted, which indeed continued without change, till 
severed by their opposite fortunes twenty years after- 
wards in the revolution. It happened that Miss Mary 



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78 LIFE OP WASHINGTON. [1756. 

Phillips, a sister of Mrs. Robinson, and a young lady 
of rare accomplishments, was an inmate in the family. 
The charms of this lady made a deep impression upon 
the heart of the Virginia Colonel. He went to Bos- 
ton, returned, and was again welcomed to the hos- 
pitality of Mr. Robinson. He lingered there, till duty 
called him away; but he was careful to intrust his 
secret to a confidential fnend, whose letters kept him 
informed' of every important event In a few months 
intelligence came, that a rival was in the field, and 
that the consequences could not be answered for, if 
he delayed to renew his visits to New York. Whether 
tune, the bustle of a camp, or the scenes of war, had 
moderated his admiration, or whether he despaired of 
success, is not known. He never saw the lady again, 
till she was married to that same rival, Captain Mor- 
ris, his former associate in arms, and one of Braddock's 
aids-de-camp. 

He had before felt the influence of the tender pas- 
sion. At the age of seventeen he was smitten by the 
graces of a fair one, whom he called a "Lowland 
beauty," and whose praises he recorded in glowing 
strams, while wandering with his surveyor's compass 
among the Allegany Mountains. On that occasion he 
wrote desponding letters to a friend, and indited plain- 
tive verses, but never ventured to reveal his emotions 
to the lady, who was unconsciously the cause of his 
pains. 

As the Assembly was to convene just at the time of 
his return, he hastened to Williamsburg in order to ma- 
ture a plan for employing the army during the summer. 
The idea of offensive operations was abandoned at the 
outset Neither artillery, engmeers, nor the means 
of transportation necessary for such an object, could 
be procured. Pennsylvania and Maryland, aroused 



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iET.34.] LIFE OF WASHINGTON. 79 

at last from their apathy, had appropriated money for 
defence; but, not inclined to unite with Virginia or 
each other in any concerted measures, they were con- 
tented to expend their substance in fortifymg their 
own borders. K a more Uberal policy had predomi- 
nated, if these colonies had smothered their local jeal- 
ousies, and looked only to their common interests, they 
might by a single combmed eflfort have driven the 
French from the Ohio, and rested in quiet the remam- 
der of the war. There bemg no hope of such a result, 
it was foreseen by the Virginians, that the most stren- 
uous exertions would be requisite to defend the long 
line of their frontiers against the inroads of the savages. 

The Assembly readily came to a determination, there- 
fore, to augment the army to fifteen hundred men. A 
bill was enacted for draftmg militia to supply the de- 
ficiency of recruits, and commissioners were appointed 
to superintend the business, of whom the Speaker was 
chairman. These drafted men were to serve till De- 
cember, to be incorporated into the army, and subjected 
to the military code. By an express clause in the law, 
they could not be marched out of the province. 

Cobnel Washington repaired to hb head-quarters 
at Winchester. A few men only were stationed there, 
the regiment being mostly dispersed at difierent posts 
in the interior, so situated as to afibrd the best pro- 
tection to the inhabitants. The enemy were on the 
alert Scarcely a day passed without new accounts of 
Indian depredations and massacres. The scouting 
parties and even the forts were attacked, and many of 
the soldiers and some of the bravest ofiScers killed. 
So bold were the savages, that they conmiitted rob- 
beries and murders within twenty miles of Winchester, 
and serious apprehensions were entertained for the 
safety of that place. The feelings of the commander. 



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^T.94.] LIFE OP WASHINGTON. 81 

These agonizing sensations were heightened by a cir- 
cumstance here alluded to, the more painful because he 
conceived it to be the offspring of mjustice and ingrat- 
itude, and a reflection upon his honor and fidelity as 
an oflScer. Rumors were circulated to the disparage- 
ment of the army, chargmg the officers with gross 
irregularities and neglect of duty, and indirectly throw- 
bg the blame upon the commander. A malicious 
person filled a gazette with tales of this sort, which 
seemed for the moment to receive public countenance. 
Conscious of having acted with the utmost vigilance, 
knowing the falsehood and wickedness of these slan- 
ders, and mdignant at so base a manoeuvre to stain 
his character, it was his first impulse to retire fix)m a 
station, in which patriotism, the purest intentions, hard- 
ships, and sacrifices, were rewarded only with calumny 
and reproach. 

This mtimation was viewed by his fiiends in the 
House of Burgesses and the Council with much con- 
cern, as their letters testified. Mingling approbation 
with remonstrance, and praise with advice, they made 
such representations, as it was not easy for him to 
disregard. " You cannot but know,*' said Landon Car- 
ter, " that nothing but want of power in your country * 
has prevented it frort adding every honor and reward 
that perfect merit could have entided itself to. How 
are we grieved to hear Colonel George Washmgton 
hinting to his country, that he is willing to retire! 
Give me leave, as your intimate fiiend, to persuade 
you to forget, that any thing has been said to your 
dishonor; and recoDect, that it cobld not have come 
from any man that knew you. And, as it may have 
been the artifice of one in no esteem among your 

* Meaning by country the popular branch of the legislature, or the 
people of Virginia generally. 
VOL. I. 11 



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82 LIFE OF WASHINGTON. [1756. 

countrymen, to raise in you such unjust suspicions, as 
would mduce you to desert the cause, that his own 
preferment might meet with no obstacle, I am confident 
you will endeavour to give us the good effects, not 
only of duty, but of great cheerfulness and satisfaction 
in such a service. No, Sir, rather let Braddock's bed 
be your aim, than aAy thing that might discolor those 
laurels, which I promise myself are kept in store for 
you." Another friend wrote; "From my constant 
attendance in the House, I can with great truth say, 
I never heard your conduct questioned. Whenever 
you are mentioned, it is with the greatest respect 
Your orders and instructions appear in a light worthy 
of the most experienced oflScer. I can assure you, 
that a very great majority of the House prefer you to 
any other person." 

Colonel Fairfax, his early patron, and a member of 
the govemor^s Council, wrote in terms still more sooth- 
ing. "Your endeavours in the service and defence 
of your country must redound to your honor; there- 
fore do not let any unavoidable interruptions sicken 
your mind in the attempts you may pursue. Your 
good health and fortune are the toast of every table. 
Among the Romans, such a general acclamation and 
public regard, shown to any of their chieftains, were 
always esteemed a high honor, and gratefully accepted." 
The Speaker of the House of Burgesses expressed sim- 
ilar sentiments, m language equally flattering and kind* 
"Our hopes, dear George, are all fixed on you for 
bringmg our affairs to a happy issue. Consider of 
what fatal consequences to your country your resigning 
the command at this time may be; more especially 
as there is no doubt most of the oflScers would follow 
your example. I hope you will allow your ruling pas- 
sion, the love of your country, to stifle your resent- 



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iET.24.] LIFE OP WASHINGTON. 83 

ment, at least till the arrival of Lord Loudoun, or the 
meeting of the Assembly, when you may be sure of 
having justice done. Who those of your pretended 
friends are, who give credit to the malicious reflections 
in that scandalous libel, I assure you I am ignorant, 
and do declare, that I never heard any man of honor 
or reputation speak the least disrespectfully of you, or 
censure your conduct, and there is no well-wisher to 
his country, that would not be greatly concerned to 
hear of your resigning." 

The same solicitude was manifested by many per- 
sons in different parts of the province. A voice so 
loud and so unanimous he could not refuse to obey. 
By degrees the plot was unravelled. The governor, 
being a Scotchman, was surroimded by a knot of his 
Caledonian friends, who wished to profit by this alli- 
ance, and obtam for themselves a larger share of con- 
sideration, than they could command in the present 
order of things. The discontented, and such as thought 
their merits undervalued, naturally fell into this faction. 
To create dissatisfaction in the army, and cause the 
officers to resign from disgust, would not only distract 
the councils of the ruling party, but make room for 
new promotions. Colonel Innes, the govemor^s favor- 
ite, would ascend to the chief command, and the sub- 
ordinate places would be reserved for his adherents. 
Hence false rumors were set afloat, and the pen of de- 
traction was busy to disseminate them. The artifice 
was easily seen through, and its aims were defeated, 
by the leaders on the patriotic side, who looked to 
Colonel Washington as a pillar of support to their cause. 

The campaign, being a defensive one, presented no 
opportunities for acquiring glory ; but the demands on 
the resources and address of the commander were not 
the less pressing. The scene varied little from that 



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JBT.2L] LIFE OF WASHINGTON. 86 



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86 LIFE OP WASHINGTON. [1756. 

this was now an outpost accessible to the enemy, 
easily assailed from the hills surrounding it, and con- 
taining a large quantity of stores, which required a 
guard of one hundred and fifty men, who might sud- 



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MT.2L] LIFE OF WASHIISPGTON. 87 

Left to act and proceed at hazard, accountable for the 
consequences, and blamed without the benefit of de- 
fence, if you can think my situation capable of ex- 
citmg the smallest degree of envy, or affording the 
least satisfaction, the truth is yet hidden fix)m you, and 
you entertain notions very different fh)m the reality of 
the case. However, I am determined to bear up under 
all these embarrassments some time longer, in hope of 
a better regulation on the arrival of Lord Loudoun, to 
whom I look for the future fate of Virginia.'^ The 
Speaker replied; "I am truly concerned at the im- 
easmess you are under in your present situation, and 
the more so, as I am sensible you have too much rea- 
son for it The present unhappy state of our coun- 
try must fill the mind of every well-wisher to it with 
dismal and gloomy apprehensions; and without some 
speedy alteration in our counsels, which may Grod 
send, the fate of it must soon be determined." 

The year was now drawmg to a close. As the Earl 
of Loudoun was expected soon in Virginia, Colonel 
Washington resolved to await his arrival, and lay before 
him a general exposition of the state of affairs, and if 
possible to have the Virginia troops put upon the reg- 
ular establishment under the direction of his Lordship, 
as the only mode by which the command of them 
could be usefiil to his country, or honorable to himself. 
In anticipation of this event he drew up an able and 
luminous statement, which he transmitted to Lord 
Loudoun, then with the armies at the north. 

The paper begins with a modest apology for mtrud- 
ing upon his Lordship's notice, which is foDowed by 
a brief sketch of the history of the war in Virginia, 
and of the part acted in it by the author. With the 
discrimination of an acute observer and an experienced 
officer, he traced a narrative of events, exposed the 



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88 LIFE OF WASHINGTON. [1757. 

errors that had been committed and their consequences, 
both in the civil and military departments, explained 
their causes, and suggested remedies for the future. 
The communication was favorably received, and ac- 
knowledged in a complimentary reply. 

Lord Loudoun did not execute his first purpose of 
going to Virginia, but summoned a meeting of several 
governors and principal officers at Philadelphia, to con- 
sult on a comprehensive plan for the next campaign. 
Colonel Washington attended the meeting, where he 
met with a flattering reception from the commander- 
in-chief, who solicited and duly valued his counsels. 
The result, however, was only a partial fulfilment of 
his hopes. In the grand scheme of operations it was 
decided, that the main efforts should be made on the 
Lakes and Canada borders, where the enemy's forces 
were embodied, and that the middle and southern 
colonies should continue in a defensive posture. He 
had the satisfaction to find, nevertheless, that his ad- 
vice was followed in regard to local arrangements. 
The Virginia troops were withdrawn from Fort Cum- 
berland, which was left to the charge of Maryland. 
Colonel Stanwix was stationed in the interior of Penn- 
sylvania, with five companies from the Royal American 
Regiments ; and, although the Virginia commander was 
unsuccessful in his endeavours to be placed upon the 
British establishment, yet, in conformity with his wishes, 
he was to act in concert with that ofl[icer, and be in 
some sort under his orders. He strenuously recom- 
mended an expedition against Fort Duquesne, believ- 
bg it might be effected with a certainty of success, 
smce the French must necessarily leave that garrison 
in a weak condition, m order to concentrate their force 
at the north to meet the formidable preparations making 
against them in that quarter. The wisdom of this ad- 



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JBt.25.] life of WASHINGTON. 89 

vice was afterwards manifest to all; and, had it been 
seasonably heeded, it would have saved the expense 
of another campaign, besides preventing the ravages 
and murders committed in the mean time on the bor- 
der settlers. In these views, if not in others, he had 
the hearty concurrence of Governor Dinwiddle. 

From the conference at Philadelphia he returned to 
his usual station at Winchester. The remamder of 
the season was passed m a routine of duties so nearly 
resembling those of the two preceding years, as to 
afford littie novelty or interest for a separate recital. 
Emboldened by successes, the Indians contmued their 
hostilities, attacking the outposts, and killing the de- 
fenceless inhabitants. In short, the service had noth- 
ing in it to reward generous sacrifices, or gratify a 
noble ambition. As a school of experience it ultimately 
proved advantageous to him. It was his good fortune, 
likewise, to gam honor and reputation even in so bar- 
ren a field, by retaining the confidence of his fellow- 
citizens, and fulfilling the expectations of his fiiends 
in the legislature, who had pressed upon him the com- 
mand, and urged his holding it 

But the fatigue of body and mind, which he suf- 
fered fi'om the severity of his labors, gradually under- 
mined his strength, and his physician msisted on his 
retiring from the army. He went to Moimt Vernon, 
where his disease settled into a fever, and reduced 
him so low, that he was confined four months, till the 
1st of March, 1758, before he was able to resume his 
command. 

VOL. I. 12 H* 



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90 LIFE OF WASHINGTON [1758. 



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iET.ae.] LIFE OP WASHINGTON. 91 

Ohio. New energy had been recently infused in the 
British councUs by the accession of Mr. Pitt to the 
ministry. That statesman, always guided by an en- 
larged policy, always friendly to the colonies, and un- 
derstanding their condition and importance much better 
than his predecessors, resolved on a vigorous prosecu- 
tion of the war in America. One of his first acts was 
a plan for the campaign of 1758, in which offensive 
operations were to be pursued throughout the frontiers. 
General Forbes was appointed to take command of an 
expedition against Fort Duquesne. To prepare the 
way, Mr. Pitt, knowing the temper of the people, and 
profiting by the mistakes heretofore committed, wrote 
a circular letter to the colonies most nearly concerned, 
and requested their united aid on such terms, as were 
acceded to with alacrity, and carried into effect with 
promptitude and spirit He proposed that all the co- 
lonial troops should be supplied with arms, ammunition, 
tents, and provisions, at the Ejng's charge ; leavmg to 
the colonies no other expense, than that of levying, 
clothmg, and paymg the men. It was moreover stip- 
ulated, that the provincial oflBicers, when joined with 
the King's troops, should hold rank according to their 
commissions. Had this wise and equitable policy been 
put in practice three years before, it would have given 
a very different aspect to the war in America, by di- 
minishing the heavy burdens of the people, promoting 
harmony and good feeling, producing contentment 
among the troops, and drawing out the resources and 
strength of the country in a more effectual manner. 

The Virgmia Assembly met, and immediately com- 
plied with the requisitions of the minister, augment- 
mg their army to two thousand men, offering a bounty 
for enlistments, and placing the whole under the gen- 
eral direction of the commands of his Majesty's forces, 



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92 LIFE OP WASHINGTON. [1758. 

for the express purpose of marching against Fort Du- 
quesne. They were divided into two regiments. The 
first was under Colonel Washington, who was like- 
wise commander-in-chief of all the Vh'ginia troops as 
before. At the head of the second regiment was Colonel 
Byrd. As General Forbes was detained at Philadel- 
phia several weeks, Colonel Bouquet was stationed in 
the central parts of Pennsylvania with the advanced 
division of regular troops, to which the provincials join- 
ed themselves as fast as they were ready. To fix on 
a uniform plan of action, and make the necessary ar- 
rangements, Colonel Washington had an interview at 
Conococheague with that officer, and with Sir John 
St Clair, quartermaster-general of the combined army. 
He also visited Williamsburg, to advise with the pres- 
ident and Council respecting many essential pomts; 
for he was not only obliged to perform his military 
duties, but to suggest to the civil authorities the proper 
modes of proceeding in relation to the army, and press 
upon them continually the execution of the laws, and 
the fulfilment of the pledges contained in the recent 
acts of the Assembly. The arrival of Governor Fau- 
quier had a favorable influence ; as he warmly espoused 
the mterests of the colony, and showed a fiiendly re- 
gard for the commander of its troops, as well as a just 
deference to his opinions. 

For some time Colonel Washington was actively 
employed at Winchester m collecting and training the 
newly enlisted men, calling in the parties fix)m the 
small forts and supplying their places with drafted 
militia, engagmg wagons and horses, and puttmg all 
things m readiness to march. There was much delay, 
and the soldiers began to be disorderiy fix)m maction, 
and the inhabitants of the vicinity to murmur at the 
pressure laid upon them for provisions and other sup- 



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JET.aa] LIFE OP WASHINGTON. 93 

plies. A party of Cherokee Indians, who had been 
tempted to join the expedition, with the prospect of 
rich presents from the King's stores, came forward so 
early, that they grew weary, discontented, and trouble- 
some, and finally most of them went off in a fit of 
ill hmnon 

It was a day of joy to him, therefore, when he re- 
ceived orders to march the Virginia regiments Srom 
Wmchester to Fort Cumberland. This was effected 
by detachments, which at the same time covered the 
convoys of wagons and pack-horses. The whole ar- 
rived at Fort Cumberland eariy in July, except a small 
guard left at Fort Loudoun to protect and prosecute 
the works at that place. Lieutenant-Colonel Stephen 
had proceeded by another route through a part of 
Pennsylvania, with six companies of the first regiment, 
and joined Colonel Bouquet at Raystown, thirty miles 
torn Fort Cumberland, and the head-quarters of the 
combined army. Both regiments, including officers 
and privates, amounted to about eighteen hundred men. 
The iUness of General Forbes detained him long on 
the way fit)m Philadelphia. During this tune Colonel 
Washington contmued at Fort Cumberland, and his 
troops were employed, some as scouting parties, and 
others in opening a new road to Raystown and re- 
pairing the old one towards the Great Meadows. 

He resorted to an expedient, which proved highly 
beneficial to the service. " My men are bare of regi- 
mental clothing,'' said he m a letter to Colonel Bou- 
quet, "and I have no prospect of a supply. So far 
from regrettmg this want during the present campaign, 
if I were left to pursue my own mclinations, I would 
not only order the men to adopt the Indian dress, but 
cause die officers to do it also, and be the first to set 
the example myself. Nothing but the uncertainty of 



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94 LIFE OP WASHINGTON. [1758. 

obtaining the general approbation causes me to hesi- 
tate a moment to leave my regimentals at this place, 
and proceed as light as any Indian in the woods. It 
is an unbecoming dress, I own; but convenience, 
rather than show, I think, should be consulted." He 
equipped in the Indian dress two companies, which 
had been ordered to advance to the main body ; and 
it was so much approved by Colonel Bouquet, that 
he encouraged the army to adopt it "The dress," 
he replied, "takes very well here. We see nothing 
but shirts and blankets. It should be our pattern in 
this expedition." Its lightness and convenience were 
suited to the heat of summer, and it saved expense 
and trouble. 

He had been but a few days at Fort Cumberland, 
when he learnt vrith great surprise, that General Forbes 
was hesitating as to the route he should pursue in 
crossmg the mountains to Fort Duquesne. The road, 
over which General Braddock marched, was the only 
one that had been cut through the wilderness for 
the passage of wagons and artillery; and as its con- 
struction had cost immense toil, it seemed incredible 
that any other route should be attempted, or even 
thought o^ so late m the season. His sentiments 
bemg asked, he expressed them in the most imre- 
served manner, and with a cogency of argument, that 
could have been set aside only by a determination 
on the part of the general, arising from motives for- 
eign to the absolute merits of the case. Colonel Bou- 
quet, who participated in the general's views, desired 
a consultation with Washington on the subject "Noth- 
ing," said he, "can exceed your generous dispositions 
for the service. I see, with the utmost satisfaction, 
that you are above the influences of prejudice, and 
ready to go heartily where reason and judgment shall 



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MT.2S.] LIFE OF WASHINGTON. 95 

direct I wish sincerely that we may all entertain 
one and the same opinion; therefore I desire to have 
an interview with you at the houses built half way 
betwe^i our camps/' This proposal was acceded to, 
and the matter was deliberately discussed. 

It was represented by Colonel Washington, that a 
great deal of pains had been taken formerly by the 
Ohio Company, with the aid of traders and Indians, 
to ascertain the most practicable route to the western 
country; that the one from Will's Creek was selected 
as far preferable to any other ; that a road had accord- 
ingly been made, over which General Braddock's army 
had passed; and that this road required but slight 
repairs to put it in good condition. Even if another 
route could be found, he thought the experiment a 
hazardous one at so advanced a stage m the season, 
as it would retard the operations, and, he feared, inev- 
itably defeat the objects of the campaign, and defer 
the capture of Fort Duquesne to another year. Such 
a result would dishearten the colonies, which had made 
extraordinary efforts to raise men and money for the 
present enterprise, with the full expectation of its suc- 
cess ; it would moreover embolden the southern In- 
dians, already disaffected, who would seize the oppor- 
tunity to commit new hostilities, thereby distressmg the 
mhabitants, strengthening the enemy, and adding to 
the diflSculty of a future conquest But, admitting it 
possible, that a new road could be made from Rays- 
town through Pennsylvania, yet no advantage could 
be derived from it, that did not actually exist in an 
equal or greater degree in Braddock's Road. Forage 
for the horses was ai)undant in the meadows bordering 
the latter; the streams were fordable, and the defiles 
easy to be passed. 
^ These rea8(ms, so obvious and forcible, did not change 



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96 LIFE OF WASHINGTON. [1758. 

the purpose of the general, who, it was believed, had 
been influenced by the Pennsylvanians to construct 
a new road, which would be a lastmg benefit to that 
province, by opening a more direct channel of mter- 
course with the West. Colonel Bouquet, of course, 
adhered to the views of his general 

There was another project, which Colonel Wash- 
ington disapproved, and which his advice prevailed to 
counteract The general proposed to march the army 
in two divisions, one by Braddock's Road, the other 
directly fit)m Raystown, making the road as it advanced. 
To this scheme he strenuously objected. Dividmg 
the army would weaken it, and the routes were so 
far apart, without any means of communication be- 
tween the two, that one division could not succour 
the other in case of an attack ; and it was certain the 
enemy would take advantage of such an oversight 
Again, if the division marching first should escort the 
convoy and be driven back, there would be a perilous 
risk of losing the stores and artillery, and of bringing 
total ruin upon the expedition. In short, every mis- 
chief, that could befall a divided army, acting agamst 
the concentrated force of an enemy, was to be appre- 
hended. The project was laid aside. 

His opinicm was likewise desired, as to the best 
mode of advancing by deposits. He made an esti- 
mate, on the supposition of marching by Braddock's 
Road, in which it was shown, that the whole army 
might be at Fort Duquesne in thirty-four days, and 
have then on hand a supply of provisions for eighty- 
seven days. Perceiving Colonel Bouquet's bias in 
favor of the general's ideas, he could scarcely hope 
his suggestions would be received. So strong were 
his fears for the fate of the expedition, that he wrote 
in moving terms to Maj(»* Halket, his former associate 



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^T.26.] LIFE OP WASHINGTON. 97 

in Braddock's army, and now one of General Forbes's 
family. 

"I am just returned,'' said he, "fix)m a conference 
with Colonel Bouquet I find him fixed, I think I 
may say unalterably fixed, to lead you a new way to 
the Ohio, through a road, every inch of which is to be 
cut at this advanced season, when we have scarce time 
left to tread the beaten track, universally confessed to 
be the best passage through the mountams. 

"If Colonel Bouquet succeeds in this point with 
the general, all is lost, — all is lost mdeed, — our en- 
terprise will be ruined, and we shall be stopped at the 
Laurel Hill this winter; but not to gather laurels^ ex- 
cept of the kind that covers the mountains. The 
southern Indians will tiun against us, and these col- 
onies will be desolated by such an accession to the 
enemy's strength. These must be the consequences 
of a miscarriage ; and a miscarriage is the almost ne- 
cessary consequence of an attempt to march the army 
by this new route. I have given my reasons at large 
to Colonel Bouquet. He desired that I would do so, 
that he might forward them to the general Should 
this happen, you will be able to judge of their weight 

"I am uninfluenced by prejudice, having no hopes 
or fears but for the general good. Of this you may 
be assured, and that my smcere sentiments are spoken 
on this occasion." 

These representations were vain. Colonel Bouquet 
was ordered to send forward parties to work upon 
the new road. Six weeks had been expended in this 
arduous labor, when General Forbes reached the camp 
at Raystown, about the middle of September. Forty- 
five miles only had been gained by the advanced party, 
then constructing a fort at Loyal Hanna, the main 
army still being at Raystown, and the larger part of 

VOL. I. 13 I 



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98 LIFE OP WASHINGTON. [1758. 

the Virginia troops at Fort Cumberland. At that mo- 
ment the whole army might have been before the walls 
of Fort Duquesne, if they had marched as advised by 
Washington. An easy victory would have ensued ; for 
it was ascertained, that the French at that time, m- 
cluding Indians, numbered not more than eight hun- 
dred men. Under General Forbes, six thousand were 
in the field. 

In reporting these facts to the Speaker of the Vir- 
gmia Assembly, Colonel Washington said ; " See, there- 
fore, how our time has been misspent Behold how 
the golden opportunity has been lost, perhaps never 
more to be regained! How is it to be accounted for? 
Can General Forbes have orders for this? Impossible. 
Will, then, our mjured country pass by such abuses? 
I hope not Rather let a full representation of the 
matter go to his Majesty. Let him know how grossly 
his glory and mterest, and the public njoney, are pros- 
tituted.'' About this time occurred the ill-concerted 
and unfortunate adventure under Major Grant, who 
was suffered to push forward to the very doors of the 
enemy a light detachment, which was attacked, cut up, 
and routed, and he and his principal officers were 
taken prisoners. 

These proceedings, and the counsels by which Gen- 
eral Forbes seemed to be guided, were so unsatisfac- 
tory to the Virginia House of Burgesses, and gave so. 
discouraging a presage of the future, that they resolved 
to recall their troops, and place them on their own 
fi-ontier. But when it was known, from subsequent 
mtelligence, that the expedition was in progress, and 
foreseen that its failure might be ascribed to the with- 
drawing of the Virginia regiments, and perhaps be 
actually caused by such a measure, they revoked their 
resolves, and extended the term of service to the end 
of the year. 



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J3T.26.] LIFE OP WASHINGTON. 99 

General Forbes had no sooner taken the command 
in person at Raystown, than he called to head-quarters 
Colonel Washington, who was followed by those com- 
panies of his regiments, which had been posted at 
Fort Cumberland. Notwithstanding the strenuous op- 
position he had manifested to the plans of operation, 
as an act of duty, while they were in suspense, he sup- 
pressed his feeUngs and subdued his reluctance, from 
the same motive, the moment they were decided upon, 
and he then engaged heartily in promoting their exe- 
cution. If he was mortified at the litde attention hith- 
erto paid to his advice, he was compensated by the 
deference now shown to his opinions and judgment 
He attended the councils of war, and was consulted 
upon every important measure by the general, at whose 
request he drew up a Ime of march and order of battle, 
by which the army could advance with facility and 
safety through the woods. The fate of Braddock, and 
its causes, were too deeply impressed on General 
Forbes's mind to be forgotten or disregarded. Unac- 
customed to this mode of warfare, more wise and less 
confident than his predecessor, he was glad to seek 
the aid of one, whose knowledge and experience would 
be available, where valor might waste its efforts in vain, 
and discipline and strength be ensnared by the arti- 
fices of a crafty foe. 

Several weeks previously, when the first detachments 
began to march, Colonel Washington requested to be 
put in the advance. Alluding to the troops, which 
were to compose the first party, he wrote to Colonel 
Bouquet; "I pray your mterest, most smcerely, with 
the general, to get myself and my regiment included 
in the number. If any argument is needed to obtain 
this favor, I hope without vanity I may be allowed to 
say, that, fi*om long intimacy with these woods, and 



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100 LIFE OP WASHINGTON. [1758. 

frequent scouting in them, my men are at least as well 
acquainted with all the passes and difficulties, as any 
troops that will be employed.** The request was now 
complied with. He received General Forbes's orders 
to march with his regiment; and at Loyal Hanna 
he was placed at the head of a division, or brigade, 
amountmg to one thousand men, who were to move 
m front of the main army, and to act as pioneers in 
clearing the road, keepmg out scouts and patrolling 
guards to prevent a surprise, and throwing up en- 
trenchments at proper stations as a security to the 
deposits of provisions. While in this command, he 
had the temporary rank of brigadier. 

The month of November had set in, before General 
Forbes, with the artillery and mam body of the army, 
arrived at Loyal Hanna. The road was extremely bad, 
and difficulties without number interposed at every 
step to cause delays, discouragement, and suffering. 
The season of frost had come, and the summits of the 
hills were whitened with snow. It was no wonder that 
the spirits of the soldiers should flag, scantily clothed 
and fed, as they were, and encountering hardships 
from want, exposure, and mcessant labor. More than 
fifty miles, through pathless and rugged vnlds, still 
mtervened between the army and Fort Duquesne. A 
coimcil of war was held, and it was decided to be un- 
advisable, if not unpracticable, to prosecute the cam- 
paign any further till the next season, and that a wmter 
encampment among the mountains, or a retreat to the 
frontier setdements, was the only alternative that re- 
mained. Thus far all the anticipations of Washmgton 
had been realized. 

A mere accident, however, which happened just at 
this crisis, turned the scale of fortune, and brought 
hope out of despair. Three prisoners were taken, who 



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Mt.26.] life op WASHINGTON. 101 

gave such a report of the weak state of the garrison 
at Fort Duquesne, that the council reversed their de- 
cision, and resolved to hazard an effort, which held 
out a possibility of success, and in any event could be 
scarcely more ruinous than the alternative first pro- 
posed. Henceforward the march was pursued without 
tents or heavy baggage, and with only a light train of 
artillery. The troops, animate^ by the example of the 
officers, performed their tasks with renovated ardor and 
alacrity. Washington resumed his command m fit)nt, 
attendmg personally to the cutting of the road, estab- 
lishing deposits of provisions, and preparing the way 
for the main army. 

No material event occurred till the 25th of Novem- 
ber, when General Forbes took possession of Fort Du- 
quesne, or rather the place where it had stood. The 
enemy, reduced in nimiber to about five hundred men, 
and deserted by the Indians, had abandoned the fort 
the day before, set fire to it, and gone down the Ohio 
in boats. Thus ended an expedition, in which more 
than six thousand men had been employed for five 
months. Rejoiced that their toils were over, the troops 
forgot their sufferings; and the people of the middle 
provinces, w^ho had murmured loudly at the dilatory 
manner in which the campaign had been carried on, 
were contented with the issue m this consummation 
of their wishes. The continued illness of General 
Forbes had perhaps operated imfevorably. He was 
esteemed a worthy and brave man, possessmg eminent 
military talents. Worn down with infirmities, which had 
been increased by the fatigues of the campaign, he 
died a few weeks afterwards at Philadelphia. 

The lateness of the season rendered it impossible, 
that the French should attempt to recover the groimd 
they had lost before the next year. It was necessary, 

I* 



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102 LIFE OP WASHINGTON. [1758. 

however, that a small garrison should be left there, as 
well to retain possession of the post, as to keep the 



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J3T.5J6.] LIFE OP WASHINGTON. 103 

one had been faithfully discharged; the other had 
yielded to the force of circumstances, and to the visions 
of the tranquil enjoyments of private life, which now 
opened upon his mind. After settling all his public 
accounts, therefore, he resigned his commission the 
last week in December, having been actively and al- 
most uninterruptedly engaged in the service of his 
country more than five years. 

On this occasion he received from the oflScers, who 
had served under him, a testimony of their attachment, 
which must have been as grateful to his feelings, as 
it was honorable to his character. They sent him an 
address, written in camp, expressive of the satisfaction 
they had derived from his conduct as commander, the 
sincerity of his friendship, and his affable demeanor; 
and of the high opinion they entertained of his mili- 
tary talents, patriotism, and private virtues. 

" Nor was this opinion confined to the officers of his 
regiment It was common in Virginia ; and had been 
adopted by the British officers with whom he served. 
The duties he performed, though not splendid, were 
arduous ; and were executed with zeal and with judg- 
ment. The exact disciplme he established in his regi- 
ment, when the temper of Virginia was extremely 
hostile to disciplme, does credit to his military char- 
acter; and the gallantry the troops displayed, when- 
ever called into action, manifests the spirit infused into 
them by their commander. The difficulties of his 
situation, while unable to cover the fi'ontier from the 
French and Indians, who were spreading death and 
desolation in every quarter, were incalculably great; 
and no better evidence of his exertions, under these 
distressing circumstances, can be given, than the un- 
diminished confidence still placed m him by those, whom 
he was unable to protect. The efforts to which he 



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k 



104 LIFE OP WASHINGTON. [1758. 

incessantly stimulated his country for the purpose of 
obtaining possession of the Ohio; the system for the 
conduct of the war, which he continually recommend- 
ed; the vigorous and active measures always urged 
upon those by whom he was commanded; manifest 
an ardent and enterprising mind, tempered by judg- 
ment, and quickly improved by experience." * 

The events of this war had a more important mflu- 
ence on the life and character of Washington, than 
might at first be supposed. They proved to him 
and to the world his mental resources, courage, for- 
titude, and power over the will and actions of others. 
They were in fact a school of practical knowledge 
and discipline, qualifying him for the great work in 
which he was to be engaged at a future day. The 
duties of his station at the head of the Virginia troops, 
and the difficulties he had to contend with during an 
active warfare of five years, bore a strong resemblance 
to those, that devolved on him as commander-in-chief 
of the American armies in the revolution. They dif- 
fered in magnitude, and in the ends to be attained ; but 
it will be seen, as we proceed, that they were analo- 
gous in many striking particulars, and that the former 
were an essential preparation for the latter. 

• MarehaU's Uft ((f WoMngUm, 2d. ed., VoL I. p. 27. 



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ifir.aa] LIFE OP WASHINGTON. 105 



• T. .J 



iii^*.\jxs kj xv^Ai.uAAV/9 vvui^^ii WOO CUiCaujr CUUdlUCicftUlC Ul UiC 

estate at Mount Vernon, and other lands which he 
had selected during his surveying expeditions and 

VOL. L 14 



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ftma 




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jEt.SK.] life op WASHINGTON. 106 



CHAPTER VI. 

Waflhington's Marriage. — For many Years a Member of the Virginia 
House of Burgesses. — His Pursuits and Habits as a Planter. — A 
Vestr]rman in the Church, and active in Parish Affairs. — His Opinion 
of the Stamp Act — Takes an early and decided Stand against the 
Course pursued by the British Government towards the Colonies. — 
Joins heartily in all the Measures of Opposition. — His Services in 
procuring the Lands promised to the Officers and Soldiers in the French 
War. — Performs a Tour to the Ohio and Kenhawa Rivers for the Pur- 
pose of selecting those Lands. — Takes an active Part at different 
Times in the Proceedings of the Virginia Legislature in defending 
the Rights of the Colonies. — His Opinions on this Subject — Chosen 
to command several Independent Companies of Militia. — A Delegate 
to the first and second Virginia Conventions. — A Member of the Con- 
tinental Congress. 

In the course of the preceding year, Colonel Wash- 
ington had paid his addresses successfully to Mrs. Mar- 
tha Custis, to whom he was married on the 6th of Jan- 
uary, 1759. This lady was three months younger than 
himself, widow of John Parke Custis, and distinguished 
alike for her beauty, accomplishments, and wealth. She 
was the daughter of John Dandridge. At the time 
of her second marriage she had two children, a son 
and daughter, the former six years old, the latter four. 
Mr. Custis had left large landed estates in New Kent 
County, and forty-five thousand pounds sterling in 
money. One third part of this property she held in 
her own right, the other two thirds being equally di- 
vided between her children. 

By this marriage, an accession of more than one 
hundred thousand dollars was made to Colonel Wash- 
ington's fortune, which was already considerable in the 
estate at Mount Vernon, and other lands which . he 
had selected during bis surveying expeditions and 

VOL. I. 14 



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106 LIFE OP WASHINGTON. [1759. 

obtained at different times. To the management of 
his extensive private affairs his thoughts were now 
turned. He also took upon himself the guardianship 
of Mrs. Washington's two children, and the care of 
their property, which trust he discharged with all the 
faithfulness and assiduity of a father, till the son became 
of age, and till the daughter died in her nineteenth 
year. This union was in every respect felicitous. It 
continued forty years. To her mtimate acquaintances 
and to the nation, the character of Mrs. Washington 
was ever a theme of praise. Affable and courteous, 
exemplary in her deportment, remarkable for her deeds 
of charity and piety, unostentatious and without vani- 
ty, she adorned by her domestic virtues the sphere 
of private life, and filled with dignity every station in 
which she was placed.* 

While engaged in the last campaign. Colonel Wash- 
ington had been elected a representative to the House 
of Burgesses, in Virginia, from Frederic County. Hav- 
ing determined to quit the military line, and being yet 
inclined to serve his country in a civil capacity, this 
choice of the people was peculiarly gratifying to him. 
As this was the first time he had been proposed for 
the popular suffrages, his fiiends urged him to leave 
the army for a few days, and repair to Winchester, 
where the election was to be held. But, regarding his 
duties in the field as outweighing every other con- 
sideration, he remained at his post, and the election 
was carried without his personal solicitation or influ- 
ence. There were four candidates, and he was chosen 
by a large majority over all his competitors. The 
success was beyond his most sanguine anticipations. 

One of his friends wrote to him immediately after 

* A Memoir of this lady, written by her grandson, G. W. P. Custis, is 
contained in the first volume of the American Portrait Ckdlery. 



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Mt.27.] life op WASHINGTON. 107 

the poUs were closed; "The punctual discharge of 
every trust, your humane and equitable treatment of 
each individual, and your ardent zeal for the common 
cause, have gamed your point with credit; as your 
friends could, with the greatest warmth and truth, 
urge the worth of those noble endowments and prin- 
ciples, as well as your superior interest both here and 
in the House,** Considering the command, which he 
had been obliged to exercise in Frederic County for 
near five years, and the restramts, which the exigency 
of circumstances required him occasionally to put upon 
the inhabitants, this result was deemed a triumphant 
proof of his abilities, address, and power to win the 
affections and confidence of the people. 

He did not establish himself at Mount Vernon, till 
three months after his marriage, but continued at Wil- 
liamsburg, or in the vicinity of that place, probably 
arranging the affairs of Mrs. Washington's estate. At 
the same time there was a session of the House ot 
Burgesses, which he attended. It was during this 
session, that an incident occurred, which has been 
graphically described by Mr. Wirt **By a vote of 
the House, the Speaker, Mr. Robinson, was directed 
to return their thanks to Colonel Washington, on be- 
half of the colony, for the distinguished military ser- 
vices which he had rendered to his country. As soon 
as Colonel Washington took his seat, Mr. Robinson, 
in obedience to this order, and following the impulse 
of his own generous and grateful heart, discharged the 
duty with great dignity, but with such warmth of col- 
oring and strength of expression, as entirely confounded 
the young hero. He rose to express his acknowledg- 
ments for the honor ; but such was his trepidation and 
confusion, that he could not give distinct utterance to 
a smgle syllable. He blushed, stammered, and trem- 



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108 LIFE OP WASHINGTON. [1750-1764. 

bled for a second; when the Speaker relieved him 
by a stroke of address, that would have done honor 
to Louis the Fourteenth in his proudest and happiest 
moment *Sit down, Mn Washington,' said he with 



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^T.27-38.] LIFE OP WASHINGTON. 109 

"The only advice I will offer,'' said he, **if you 
have a mind to command the attention of the House, 
is to speak seldom but on important subjects, except 
such as particularly relate to your constituents; and, 
in the former case, make yourself perfectly master of 
the subject Never exceed a decent warmth, and 
submit your sentiments with diffidence. A dictatorial 
style, though it may carry conviction, is always accom- 
panied with disgusf 

After suitable preparations had been made, he re- 
tired with Mrs. Washmgton to the charming retreat 
at Mount Vernon, resolved to devote his remaining 
years to the pursuit of agriculture, with no higher 
aims than to mcrease his fortune, cultivate the social 
virtues, fulfil his duties as a citizen, and sustain in its 
elevated dignity and worth the character of a country 
gentleman. For this sphere he was extremely well 
fitted, both by his tastes and his habits of business. 
In all the scenes of his public career, even when his 
renown was the highest, and he was the most actively 
engaged in great affairs, there was no subject upon 
which his mind dwelt with so lively an interest and 
pleasure as that of agriculture. Nor was there ever 
a moment, when his thoughts would not recur to his 
tranquil home at Mount Vernon, as the seat of his 
purest happiness, or when he would not have retmn- 
ed to it with unfeigned delight 

The occupation of a Virginia planter before the Rev- 
olution afforded little variety of incidents. Few modes 
of existence could be more monotonous. The staple 
product, particularly in the lower counties, was tobacco, 
to the culture of which Washington chiefly directed 
his care. This he exported to London for a market, 
making the shipments in his own name, and puttmg 
the tobacco on board vessels, which came up the 

VOL. I. J 



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110 LIFE OP WASHINGTON. [1759-1764. 

Potomac River to his mansion at Mount Vernon, or to 
such other points as were most convenient He had 
also correspondents m Bristol and Liverpool, to wrhom 
he sometimes consigned tobacco. 

In those days, it was the practice of the Virginia 
planters to import directly from London all the articles 
of common use. Twice a year Washington forwarded 
lists of such articles to his agent, comprising not only 
the necessaries and conveniences for household pur- 
poses, ploughs, hoes, spades, scythes, and other im- 
plements of agriculture, saddles, bridles, and harness 
for his horses, but likewise every article of wearing 
apparel for himself and the different members of his 
family, specifying the names of each, and the ages of 
Mrs. Washington's two children, as well as the size, 
description, and quality of the several articles.* He 
required his agent to send him, in addition to a gen- 
eral bill of the whole, the original vouchers of the 
shopkeepers and mechanics, from whom purchases 
had been made. So particular was he in these con- 
cerns, that for many years he recorded with his own 
hand, m books prepared for the purpose, all the long 
lists of orders, and copies of the multifarious receipts 
from the different merchants and tradesmen, who had 
supplied the goods. In this way he kept a perfect 
oversight of the business, ascertained the prices, could 
detect any imposition, mismanagement, or careless- 
ness, and tell when any advantage was taken of 
him even m the smallest matter, of which, when dis- 
covered, he did not fail to remind his correspondents 



• From an order, which he sent to a taUor in London, we learn the 
size of his person. He describes himself as *<8ix feet high and pro- 
portionably made ; if any thing rather slender for a person of that 
height;** and adds that his limbs were long. At this time he was 
thirty-one years old. In exact measure, his height was six feet, three 
inches. 



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iET.27-32.] LIFE OF WASHINGTON. Ill 

the next time he wrote. During the whole of this 
period, in short, his industry was equal to his enter- 
prise in business. His day-books, legers, and letter- 
books were all kept by himself; nor does it appear, 
that he was in the habit, on any occasion, of resorting 
to the aid of a clerk or secretary. He usually drew 
up his contracts, deeds, and other papers, requiring 
legal knowledge and accuracy. It was a rule with 
him, in private as well as public transactions, not to 
rely on others for what he could do himself. 

Although his pursuits were those of a retired farm- 
er, yet he was by no means secluded from social 
intercourse with persons of intelligence and refinement 
During the periods of his attending the House of Bur- 
gesses at Williamsburg, he met on terms of intimacy 
the eminent men of Virginia, who, in imitation of the 
governors (sometimes noblemen, and always from the 
higher ranks of English society), lived m a style of 
magnificence, which has long since passed away, and 
given place to the republican simplicity of modem 
times. He was a frequent visiter at Annapolis, the 
seat of government in Maryland, renowned as the re- 
sort of the polite, wealthy, and fashionable. At Mount 
Vernon he returned the civilities he had received, and 
practised, on a large and generous scale, the hospi- 
tality for which the southern planters have ever been 
distinguished. When he was at home, a day seldom 
passed without the company of friends or strangers at 
his house. In his diaries the names of these visiters 
are often mentioned, and we find among them the 
governors of Virginia and Maryland, and nearly all the 
celebrated men of the southern and middle colonies, 
who were afterwards conspicuous in the history of the 
country. 

One of his nearest neighbours was George Mason, 



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112 LIFE OP WASHINGTON. [1759-1764. 

of Gunston Hall, a man possessing remarkable intel- 
lectual powers, deeply conversant with political science, 
and thoroughly versed in the topics of dispute then 
existing between England and America. Lord Fair- 
fax was also a constant guest at Mount Vernon, who, 
although eccentric in his habits, possessed a cultivated 
mmd, social qualities, and a perfect knowledge of the 
world. To these may be added a large circle of rela- 
tives and acquaintances, who sought his society, and 
to whom his house was always open. 

Washmgton had a relish for amusements. In his 
earlier years, as we have seen, he was fond of athletic 
sports, and the feats of agility and strength. When 
he was at Williamsburg or Annapolis, he commonly 
attended the theatrical exhibitions, such as were pre- 
sented on the American boards at that day. But his 
chief diversion was the chase. At the proper season, 
it was not unusual for him to go out two or three times 
in a week with horses, dogs, and horns, in pursuit of 
foxes, accompanied by a small party of gentlemen, either 
his neighbours, or such visiters as happened to be at 
Mount Vernon. If we may judge by his own account, 
however, he could seldom boast of brilliant success 
in these excursions. He was not disheartened by dis- 
appointment, and when the foxes eluded his pursuit, 
he consoled himself with the reflection, that the main 
end in view, excitement and recreation, had been 
gained. 

Another favorite exercise was fowling. His youth- 
ful rambles in the woods, on his surveying expeditions, 
had made him familiar with the use of his gun. Game 
of various kinds abounded on his plantations, particu- 
larly the species of wild duck, which at certain seasons 
resorts in great numbers to the waters of the Chesa- 
peake, and is so much esteemed for its superior qual- 



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^T.27-32.] LIFE OP WASHINGTON. 113 

ity. He was expert in the art of duck-shooting, and 
often practised it. 

Connected with this subject, an anecdote is related 
of him, illustrative of his resolution and courage, A 
person of lawless habits and reckless character had 
frequently entered upon the grounds near ^ount Ver- 
non, and shot ducks and other game. More than 
once he had been warned to desist, and not to return. 
It was his custom to cross the Potomac in a canoe, 
and ascend the creeks to some obscure place, where 
he could be concealed from observation. One day, 
hearing the discharge of a musket, Washmgton mount- 
ed his horse, and rode m the direction of the sound. 
The mtruder discovered his approach, and had just 
tune to gain the canoe and push it from the shore, 
when Washmgton emerged from the bushes at the 
distance of a few yards. The man raised his gun, 
cocked it, pointed it at him, and took deliberate aim; 
but, without a moment's hesitation, he rode into the 
water, seized the prow of the canoe, drew it to land, 
disarmed his antagonist, and inflicted on him a chas- 
tisement, which he never again chose to run the haz- 
ard of encountering. 

But neither his private occupations, nor his im- 
portant duties as one of the legislators of the provmce, 
prevented Washington from taking an active part in 
many concerns of less moment, wherein he could be 
useful to his friends or the community. He assumed 
trusts at the solicitation of others, which sometimes 
involved much labor and responsibility, and in which 
he had no personal interest; and cheerfully rendered 
his services as an arbitrator m settlmg disputes. Such 
was the confidence in his candor and judgment, and 
such his known desire to promote peace and concc«xl, 
that he was often called upon to perform oflSces of 

VOL. I. 15 J * 



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114 LIFE OF WASHINGTON. [1765. 

this kind; and it was rare that his decision was un- 
satisfactory ; for, however the parties might differ in 
opinion, they were persuaded that their cause could 
not be submitted to a more impartial or competent 
judge. 

His usefulness extended to every object within the 
sphere of his influence. In the affairs of Truro Par- 
ish, to which Mount Vernon belonged, he took a lively 
concern and exercised a salutary control He was a 
vestryman of that parish. On one occasion he gained 
a triumph of some moment, which Mn Massey, the 
clergyman, who lived to an advanced age, used to 
mention as an instance of his address. The old church 
was falling to rum, and it was resolved that another 
should be built Several meetings were held, and a 
warm dispute arose respecting its location, the old 
one being remote from the centre, and inconveniently 
situated for many of the parishioners. A meetmg for 
settling the question was finally held. George Ma- 
son, who led the party that adhered to the ancient 
site, made an eloquent harangue, in which he appealed 
with great effect to the sensibilities of the people, con- 
juring them not to desert the spot consecrated by 
the bones of their ancestors and the most hallowed 
associations. Mr. Massey said every one present seem- 
ed moved by this discourse, and, for the moment, he 
thought there would not be a dissenting voice. Wash- 
ington then rose, and drew from his pocket a roll of 
paper, containing an exact survey of Truro Parish, on 
which was marked the site of the old church, the pro- 
posed site of the new one, and the place where each 
parishioner resided. He spread this map before the 
audience, explained it in a few words, and then added, 
that it was for them to determme, whether they would 
be carried away by an impulse of feeling, or act upon 



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^T.3a] LIFE OP WASHINGTON. 115 

the obvious principles of reason and justice. The 
argument, thus confirmed by ocular demonstration, 
was conclusive, and the church was erected on the 
new site. 

At the close of the French war, he had an arduous 
service to perform, as one of the commissioners for 
settling the military accounts of the colony, which were 
complicated, and of large extent. His intimate knowl- 
edge of the subject, and the sympathy he felt for 
his companions m arms, and all who had aided the 
cause of their country, were motives for throwmg this 
task chiefly upon him, and he executed it faithfully. 

British writers have asserted, and perhaps believed, 
that Washmgton's sentiments did not harmonize with 
those of the leaders, who resisted the aggressions of 
Ae mother country at the beginning of the great strug- 
gle for independence, and that he was brought tardily 
mto the measures of opposition. This opinion prob- 
ably arose torn the circumstance of his name not 
being mentioned among the conspicuous actors, and 
was strengthened by the spurious letters ascribed to 
him in the first part of the war, of which more will 
be said hereafter. These letters were first published 
m England, and so artfully written, that they might 
easily mislead those, who were willing to be deceiv- 
ed on the side of their prejudices and wishes. It is 
nevertheless true, that no man in America took a more 
early, open, and decided part in asserting and de- 
fending the rights of the colonies, and opposmg the 
pretensions set up by the British government. In the 
Virginia legislature he went heart and hand with Hen- 
ry, Randolph, Lee, Wythe, and the other prominent 
leaders of the time. His opinions and his principles 
were consistent throughout That he looked for a 
conciliation, till the convening of the first Congress, and 



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116 LIFE OP WASHINGTON. 



[1707. 



perhaps till the petition of that Congress had been re- 
jected by the King, there is no doubt; and so did 
Franklin, Jay, Jefferson, John Adams, and probably all 
the other master-spirits, who gave the tone to public 
sentiment and action. 

His disapprobation of the Stamp Act was expressed 
in unqualified terms. He spoke of it, in a letter writ- 
ten at the time, as an "unconstitutional method of 
taxation,** and ^ a direful attack on the liberties of the 
colonists." And subsequently he said, " The repeal of 
the Stamp Act, to whatever cause owing, ought much 
to be rejoiced at ; for, had the Parliament of Great Brit- 
am resolved upon enforcing it, the consequences, I 
conceive, would have been more direful than is gen- 
erally apprehended, both to the mother country and 
her colonies. All, therefore, who were instrumental m 
procuring the repeal, are entitled to the thanks of every 
British subject, and have mine cordially.** He was 
present in the Virginia legislature, when Patrick Hen- 
ry offered his celebrated resolutions on this subject 
I have found no record of his vote ; but it may be pre- 
sxmaed, from his well known sentiments, and trom his 
frankness in avowing them, that he stood in the ranks 
of the patriotic party, to which he ever afterwards 
rendered his most zealous support 

Although the Stamp Act was repealed, yet the 
abettors of that act, so odious to the colonies, were 
not influenced m yieldmg the pomt by any regard to 
the absolute merits of the question, but by motives of 
expediency for the moment, being resolved to seize the 
first opportunity to renew the measure, and prosecute 
their scheme for raising a revenue in America by taxing 
the people without their consent They asserted the 
unlimited control of Parliament over every part of the 
British dominions ; and the doctrine, hitherto consid- 



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^T.35.] LIFE OP WASHINGTON. 117 

ered as one of the vital elements of the Bntish con- 
stitution, and the mam pillar of British freedom, that 
no subject of the realm could be taxed except by 



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118 LIFE OF WASHINGTON. [1769. 

a tone of energy and decision, that could leave no room 
to doubt, as to his sense of the matter, and the ground 
he was prepared to take. 

"At a time,'* said he, **when our lordly masters in 
Great Britam will be satisfied with nothing less than 
the deprivation of American freedom, it seems highly 
necessary that something should be done to avert the 
stroke, and maintain the liberty, which we have derived 
fix)m our ancestors. But the manner of doing it, to 
answer the purpose effectually, is the point in question. 

" That no man should scruple, or hesitate a moment, 
to use arms in defence of so valuable a blessing, is 
clearly my opinion. Yet arms, I would beg leave to 
add, should be the last resource, the dernier resort 
We have ah^ady, it is said, proved the inefficacy of 
addresses to the throne, and remonstrances to Parlia- 
ment How far, then, their attention to our rights and 
privileges is to be awakened or alarmed, by starving 
their trade and manufactures, remains to be tried. 

^ The northern colonies, it appears, are endeavouring 
to adopt this scheme. In my opinion it is a good one, 
and must be attended with salutary effects, provided 
it can be carried pretty generally into execution.** 

These sentiments were cordially reciprocated by Mr. 
Mason, who agreed that steps ought immediately to 
be taken to bring about a concert of action between 
Virgmia and the northern colonies. This gentleman, 
who afterwards drafted the first constitution of Virgmia, 
and was a skilful writer, drew up a series of articles in 
the form of an Association. The Burgesses met in 
May, and, as Mr. Mason was not then one of their 
number, Washington took charge of the paper, with 
the view of laying it before the Assembly. As soon 
as the Burgesses had come together, and gone through 
with the forms of opening the session, they proceeded 



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^T.37.] LIFE OP WASHINGTON. H9 

to consider the late doings of Parliament, and passed 
several bold and pointed resolves, denying the authority 



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120 LIFE OF WASHINGTON. [177a 

expense, the matter was at last adjusted. Nor did 
he remit his efforts till every officer and private soldier 
had received his due proportion. Where deaths had 
occurred, the heirs were sought out, and their claims 
verified and allowed. Even Vanbraam, who was be- 



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^T.38.] LIFE OP WASHINGTON. 121 

fatiguing and somewhat hazardous, as they were ex- 
posed without shelter to the inclemencies of the weath- 
er, and no one of the party was experienced in the 
navigation of the stream. At night they landed and 
encamped. Occasionally they walked through the 
woods, leaving the canoe in charge .of the oarsmen. 
They were thus enabled to inspect the lands, and form 
a judgment of the soiL Washington was also gratified 
to meet several of his former Indian fiiends, who, hear- 
ing of his journey, came to see him at different places. 
Among others, he recognised a chief, who had gone 
with him to the fort on French Creek, sixteen years 
before. They all greeted him with much ceremonious 
respect, making speeches according to their manner, 
welcoming him to their country, exhibiting their usual 
tokens of fiiendship and hospitality, and expressing a 
desire to maintam a pacific mtercourse with their white 
neighbours of Virginia. 

After arriving at the mouth of the Great Kenhawa, 
he ascended that river about fourteen miles, and ex- 
amined the lands in the vicinity. He had an oppcH*- 
tunity, likewise, to practise his favorite amusement of 
hunting. Buffaloes, deer, turkeys, ducks, and other 
wild game, were found in great abundance. Pleased 
with the situation, aspect, and resources of the coun- 
try, he selected various tracts of land, which were 
ultimately surveyed and appropriated to fulfil the 
pledges to the army. Having accomplished his ob- 
ject, he returned up the Ohio, and thence to Mount 
Vernon. 

Some months afterwards be assented to a proposal 
from Lord Dunmore, governor of Virginia, to join him 
in an excursion to the western country, and the prep- 
arations were partly made; but family affictions oc- 
curring at the time, in the death of Mrs. Washington's 

VOL. I. 16 K 



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122 LIFE OP WASHINGTON. [1771. 

only daughter, prevented him from executing the de- 
sign. 

The crisis was now approaching, which was to call 
Washington from his retreat, and to engage him in 
the widest sphere of public action. The complaints, 
remonstrances, and lofty spirit of the colonists had 
wrought no other impression on the British ministry, 
than to confirm them in their delusions, and stimulate 
them to new acts of encroachment and severity, mis- 
taking the calls of justice for the clamor of factious 
discontent, and eager to complete by the arm of power 
the work, which they had begun with rashness and 
pursued with obstinacy. Although apparentiy shrouded 
in the shades of Mount Vernon, Washington was a 
close observer of every movement, and perfectly master 
of the history and principles of the controversy. As- 
sociatmg, as he did, with the eminent men of his day, 
and exercising without intermission the civil functions 
of a legislator, every topic had been brought under his 
notice and minutely examined. We have seen the 
part he had abeady acted ; and, such were his caution, 
the rectitude of his motives, his power of discrimination, 
and his unerring judgment, that he was never known 
to desert a cause he had once embraced, or change 
an opinion, which, from a full knowledge of facts, he 
had deliberately formed. 

The dissolution of the Assembly by Lord Botetourt 
had no other effect, than to elicit a signal proof of the 
sentiments of the people, and their acquiescence in 
the acts of their representatives. At the new election 
every member was returned, who had sat in the former 
Assembly. In the mean time. Lord Botetourt died, 
and the Earl of Dunmore succeeded him as governor 
of Vii^ia. The temper shown by the Burgesses, at 
their first meeting after he took possession of the 



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iET.41.] LIFE OP WASHINGTON. 123 

government, was not such as to make him desirous 
of their aid, as long as he could dispense with it, and 
he prorogued them by proclamations from time to time 
till the 4th of March, 1773. This Assembly is mem- 
orable for having brought forward the resolves, insti- 
tuting a committee of correspondence, and recommend- 
ing the same to the legislatures of the other colonies, 
thereby establishing channels of mtelligence and a 
bond of union, which proved of the utmost importance 
to the general cause. Washington was present, and 
gave his hearty support to these resolves. 

The next session, which took place m May, 1774, 
was productive of still more decisive measures. Soon 
after the members had come together, news reached 
Williamsburg of the act of Parliament for shuttmg up 
the port of Boston, and inflicting other disabilities on 
the inhabitants of that town, which was to take effect 
on the 1st of June. The sympathy and patriotic feel- 
ings of the Burgesses were strongly excited ; and they 
forthwith passed an order, deprecating this ministerial 
procedure, as a hostile invasion, and setting apart the 
1st of June to be observed "as a day of fasting, hu- 
miliation, and prayer, to unplore the Divine interposition 
for averting the heavy calamity, which threatened de- 
struction to their civil rights and the evils of civil war, 
and to give them one heart and one mind firmly to 
oppose, by all just and proper means, every injury to 
American rights.^ The governor was alarmed at these 
symptoms, and dissolved the house the next morning. 

Not to be diverted from their purpose, however, the 
delegates repaired immediately to the Raleigh Tavern, 
eighty-nine in number, organized themselves into a 
committee, and drew up and signed an Association, in 
which, after expressing in strong language their dis- 
satisfaction with the late doings of the British Parlia- 



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124 LIFE OF WASHINGTON. [1774. 

ment, and their opinion that the vital interests of all 
the colonies were equally concerned, they advised the 
Committee of Correspondence to communicate with 
the Committees of the other colonies, on the expe- 
diency of appomting deputies to meet m a general 
congress. Although the idea of a congress was in the 
minds of many persons throughout the continent, and 
had been proposed m town meetings at Boston and 
New York, yet this was the first public assembly by 
which it was formally recommended. As the governor 
had dissolved the legislature, and no other business 
seemed necessary to be done, many of the delegates 
returned to their homes. Such as stayed behind, at- 
tended the religious services on the day appomted for 
the fast. Washmgton writes in his Diary, that he 
**went to church, and fasted all day." 

While they were waitmg to perform this duty, let- 
ters were received from Boston, givmg an account of 
a town meetmg m that place, and a resolution to call 
on the inhabitants of the colonies generally to enter 
into an agreement, that they would hold no further 
commercial intercourse with Great Britam, either by 
imports or exports. Twenty-five of the late delegates 
were still m Williamsburg, among whom was Wash- 
ington ; and, on the 29th of May, they met to consider 
the subject On one essential point they differed in 
opinion ; and, as their number was small, they thought 
it not proper to determine upon any public act, which 
should go abroad as the presumed sense of the colony. 
They did no more, therefore, than state the matter 
clearly m a circular letter, and recommend a meeting 
of deputies at Williamsburg on the 1st of August, for 
the purpose of a more full and deliberate discussion. 
The circular was printed, and distributed in the sev- 
eral counties. 



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iKT.42.] LIFE OF WASHINGTON. 126 

The members, who dissented from the proposition 
in its comprehensive form, were not satisfied as to 
the prohibition of exports. All agreed, that the non- 
importation compact should be strictly adhered to, 
and even enlarged, so as to include every article not 
absolutely necessary for common use, and which could 
be obtained only from Great Britain. Exports stood 
on a different footing. Large debts were due to mer- 
chants in England, which could be paid in no other 
way than by exporting produce from the colonies. To 
withhold this produce was in effect a refusal to pay a 
just debt Washmgton was strenuous on this head, 
and insisted, that, whatever might be done prospec- 
tively, honor and justice required a faithful discharge 
of all obligations previously contracted. The reply 
was, that the colonists, after all, were the greatest suf- 
ferers, that the English merchants could not expect an 
exemption from the calamities brought upon the nation 
by the weakness or wickedness of their rulers, and 
that the debts would in the end be paid. He was 
not convinced by this reasoning. At any rate, he was 
not willing to make it the basis of action, till other less 
objectionable methods should be found unavailmg. 

In conformity to the advice of the circular letter, 
meetings were held in the several counties, resolutions 
were adopted, and delegates appointed to meet in 
convention at Williamsburg on the 1st of August In 
Fairfax County, Washington presided as chairman of 
the meetmgs, and was one of a committee to prepare 
a series of resolves expressive of the sense of the 
people. The resolves themselves, twenty-four in all^ 
were drafted by George Mason; and they constitute 
one of the ablest and most luminous expositions of 
the points at issue between Great Britain and the 
colonies, which are to be found among the public 

K* 



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126 LIFE OP WASHINGTON. [1774. 

documents of that period. Embracing the great prin- 
ciples and facts, clothed in a nervous and appropriate 
style, they are equally marked with dignity, firmness, 
intelligence, and wisdom. They are moreover of spe- 
cial interest as containing the opinions of Washington 
at a critical tune, when he was soon to be raised 
by his countrymen to a station of the highest trust and 
responsibility. 

One of his fi-iends, Mr. Bryan Fairfax, who attend- 
ed the first meeting, but who could not accede to all 
the resolves, explained his objections and difficulties 
in writing. The following extracts fi-om Washington's 
letters m reply exhibit his views, and the spirit by which 
he was anhnated. 

" That I differ very widely from you,*' said he, " in 
respect to the mode of obtaining a repeal of the acts 
so much and so justly complained of^ I shall not hesi- 
tate to acknowledge ; and that this difference in opin- 
ion probably proceeds fi-om the different constructions 
we put upon the conduct and intention of the ministry, 
may also be true; but, as I see nothing, on the one 
hand, to mduce a belief, that the Parliament would 
embrace a favorable opportunity of repealing acts, which 
they go on with great rapidity to pass, in order to 
enforce their tyrannical system ; and, on the other, I 
observe, or think I observe, that government is pur- 
suing a regular plan at the expense of law and justice 
to overthrow om* constitutional rights and liberties, how 
can I expect any redress fix)m a measure, which has 
been ineffectually tried already? For, Sir, what is it 
we are contendmg against? Is it against paying the 
duty of three pence per pound on tea because bur- 
thensome? No, it is the right only, that we have all 
along disputed ; and to this end we have already pe- 
titioned his Majesty in as humble and dutiful a manner, 



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iET.42.] LIFE OP WASHINGTON. 127 

as subjects could do. Nay, more, we applied to the 
House of Lords and House of Commons in their differ- 
ent legislative capacities, setting forth, that, as English- 
men, we could not be deprived of this essential and val- 
uable part of our constitution. I^ then, as the fact really 
is, it is agamst the right of taxation that we now do, and, 
as I before said, all along have contended, why should 
they suppose an .exertion of this power would be less 
obnoxious now than formerly ? And what reason have 
we to believe, that they would make a second attempt, 
whilst the same sentiments fill the breast of every 
American, if they did not intend to enforce it if pos- 
sible ? 

"In short, what further proofs are wanting to sat- 
isfy any one of the designs of the ministry, than their 
own acts, which are uniform and plamly tending to 
the same point, nay, if I mistake not, avowedly to fix 
the right of taxation 1 What hope have we, then, from 
petitionmg, when they tell us, that now or never is 
the time to fix the matter 1 Shall we, after this, whme 
and cry for relief, when we have already tried it in 
vain? Or shall we supinely sit and see one province 
after another fall a sacrifice to despotism? 

" If I were in any doubt, as to the right which the 
Parliament of Great Britain had to tax us without our 
consent, I should most heartily coincide with you in 
opinion, that to petition, and petition only, is the proper 
method to apply for relief; because we should then 
be asking a favor, and not claiming a right, which, by 
the law of nature and by our constitution, we are, in 
my opinion, indubitably entitied to. I should even 
think it criminal to go further than this, under such an 
idea; but I have none such. I think the Parliament 
of Great Britain have no more right to put their hands 
mto my pocket, without my consent, than I have to 



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^T.42.] LIFE OP WASHINGTON. 131 

friend, to tell you, that you are abused, grossly abused. 
This I advance with a degree of confidence and bold- 
ness, which may claim your belief having better oppw- 
timities of knowing the real sentiments of the people 
you are among, from the leaders of them, in oppo- 
sition to the present measures of the administration, 
than you have from those whose business it is, not 
to disclose truths, but to misrepresent facts m order to 
justify as much as possible to the world their own 
conduct. Give me leave to add, and I think I can 
announce it as a fact, that it is not the wish or mterest 
of that government, or any other upon this continent, 
separately or collectively, to set up for independence; 
but this you may at the same time rely on, that none 
of them will ever submit to the loss of those valuable 
rights and privileges, which are essential to the happi- 
ness of every free state, and without which, life, lib- 
erty, and property are rendered totally insecure. 

** These, Sir, being certain consequences, which 
must natxu^ly result from the late acts of Parliament 
relative to America m general, and the government of 
Massachusetts Bay m particular, is it to be wondered 
at, I repeat, that men, who wish to avert the impend- 
ing blow, should attempt to oppose it in its progress, 
or prepare for their defence, if it cannot be averted? 
Surely I may be allowed to answer in the negative ; 
and again give me leave to add as my opmion, that 
more blood will be spilled on this occasion, if the min- 
istry are determined to push matters to extremity, than 
history has ever yet furnished instances of in the annals 
of North America, and such a vital wound will be 
given to the peace of this great country, as time itself 
cannot cure, or eradicate the remembrance of.^ 

What is here said, in regard to independence, is 
confirmed by the address of the first Congress to the 



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iET.42.] LIFir OP WASHINGTON. 133 

and sound judgment, Colonel Washington is unques- 
tionably the greatest man on that floor." * This opin- 
ion was verified by every act of his life. His knowl- 
edge, on the subjects to which he gave his attention, 
was most thorough and exact; and all the world has 
agreed, that no other man has given such proofs of 
the soundness of his judgment 

The business of the Congress bemg over, Washington 
went back to the occupations of his farm. Litde leisure 
was left him, however, for these favorite pursuits. It 
had long been a custom in Virginia to form independ- 
ent companies for military discipline. These compa- 
nies chose their own oflScers, adopted uniforms, and 
provided themselves with colors, arms, and drums, 
being governed by the general regulations of the mi- 
litia laws. Companies of this description had recentiy 
been encouraged by Governor Dunmore, who had an 
Indian war upon his hands, and was fittmg out a for- 
midable expedition to the West 

Their martial spirit was quickened, when it was 
perceived that their services might be wanted in a 
cause of vastly greater moment As the first military 
character in the provmce. Colonel Washington was 
much consulted by the oflScers, and his counsels were 
implicitly followed. He had hardly returned from the 
Congress, when he was solicited by the independent 
company of Prince William County to take command 
of them as field-oflScer. Other companies tendered him 
the same honor; and it seemed to be the unanimous 
expectation of the people, that, in the event of a war, 
he would be placed at the head of the Vlrgmia forces. 
He yielded to the solicitations of the companies, re- 
viewed them at the different points of rendezvous, 

* Life of Patrick Henry, dd edition, p. lia 
VOL. L L 



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JET.4a] LIFE OP WASHINGTON. 136 

people were advised to form themselves into socie- 
ties and committees for mutual intelligence and aid, 
to offer premiums, and to promote the culture of wool, 
cotton, flax, and hemp. The members of the Con- 
vention agreed, that they would use home manufac- 
tures in preference to any others, and recommended 
this patriotic practice to their constituents. 

The former delegates were rechosen to represent 
Virginia in the next Continental Congress. On the 
day this choice was made, Washington wrote to his 
brother, approving his zeal in trainmg an independent 
company, and adding ; " I shall very cheerfully accept 
the honor of commanding it, if occasion require it to 
be drawn out, as it is my full intention to devote my 
life and fortune in the cause we are engaged m, iS 
needful." The time of need soon arrived. 



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iET.43.] LIFE OP WASHINGTON. 137 

Such was the crisis, which presented itself to the 
Congress when they met, and which called for the 
exercise of all their wisdom and firmness. Notwith- 
standing the hope, perhaps belief, entertained by many, 
that a reconciliation would still take place on honorable 
and satisfactory terms, yet all perceived the necessity 
of prompt and decided action. To shrink at this mo- 
ment, to temporize and delay, would be a confession 
of weakness, an evidence of irresolution, which might 
prove of incalculable injury, both by damping the ardor 
of the Americans, and by strengthening the confidence 
of their foes. Whatever difference of opinion there 
might be on other points, every member felt, that the 
hour of preparation was come, and that an organized 
system must be instituted, which would draw out and 
concentrate the military resources of the country. 

While Congress were deliberating on this subject, 
Washington wrote a letter to a friend in England, in 
which, after speakmg of the battle of Lexmgton, he 
says; "This may serve to convmce Lord Sandwich, 
and others of the same sentiment, that Americans will 
fight for their liberties and property, however pusillani- 
mous in his Lordship's eyes they may appear m other 
respects. Unhappy it is, though, to reflect, that a 
brother's sword has been sheathed in a brother's breast, 
and that the once happy and peaceful plains of Amer- 
ica are either to be drenched in blood, or mhabited 
by slaves. Sad alternative ! But can a vhtuous man 
hesitate in his choice?" 

Congress first proceeded to consider the state of 
the country, and to provide for defence. Committees 
were appointed to prepare reports, and it is a proof 
of the estimation in which the practical talents and 
experience of Washington were held, that he was 
chairman of all these committees; first, for recom- 

VOL. I. 18 L « 



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138 LIFE OF WASHINGTON. [1775. 

mending what posts should be occupied in the prov- 
ince of New York ; secondly, for devising ways and 
means of Drocuriner ammunition and military stores ! 



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-fiT.43.] LIFE OP WASHINGTON. 139 

Standing, a point in which military men are always so 
sensitive, might be a hazardous experiment. Besides, 
the troops already in the field were wholly from the 
New England provinces, and it was uncertain how 



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140 LIFE OP WASHINGTON. [1775. 

which the wise and nrudent would not overlook, and 



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iET.43.] LIFE OP WASHINGTON. 141 

and signified his acceptance m a brief and appropriate 
reply. 

After expressing his thanks for the signal honor 
done him by Congress, and his concern, "from the 
consciousness that his abilities and military experience 



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142 LIFE OP WASHINGTON. [1775. 

tiny, that has thrown me upon this service, I shall hope 
that my undertaking it is designed to answer some 
good purpose. You might, and I suppose did per- 



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iET.4a] LIFE OP WASHINGTON. 143 



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JEt.43.] life op WASHINGTON. 149 

military power, the ambition of aspiring leaders, and the 
chains that had been forged and riveted on an unsus- 
picious people by standing armies. These lessons made 
a deep impression, and infused a distrust incompatible 
with enlarged schemes or energetic action. Thus it 
was, that the same ardor of patriotism, which impelled 
them to encounter every hazard, operated as a check 
to the only measures by which their object could be 
gamed. 

These misgivings were early discovered by Wash- 
ington. He respected the motive, although he could not 
but lament its effects. Conscious, on his own part, of 
the highest purity of purpose, and harbouring no latent 
thought, which was not directed to the best good of his 
country, if he felt wounded at this suspicion, he did 
not suffer it to appear in his conduct, nor to alter his 
opmion of the watchful guardians of the people's liberty. 
Example, he wisely thought, would be more regarded 
than complaint, more persuasive than words. If ability 
and courage are necessary in a commander, he soon 
saw, that, in his case at least, patience, forbearance, and 
fortitude, were not less so. 

A regular army and a military system were to be 
created, and on such principles as would insure their 
stability and continuance. This great work was to be 
executed mainly by the Commander-in-chief. Congress 
might approve, sanction, and aid ; but it was his task to 
mvent, combme, organize, establish, and sustain. To 
this end he kept up an unremitted correspondence with 
Congress during the whole war. His letters were read 
to the House in full session, and almost every important 
resolution respecting the army was adopted on his sug- 
gestion or recommendation, and emanated from his 
mind. He was thus literally the centre of motion to this 
immense and complicated machine, not more in directing 



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iEx.iai LIFE OF WASHINGTON. 151 

moment threatened disagreeable consequences. The 
enemy's armed vessels were hovering on the coast, 
seizing small craft, and menacmg towns on the sea- 
board The inhabitants were alarmed, and claimed 
protection. The legislature of Massachusetts and the 
Governor of Connecticut applied to Washington with a 



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162 LIFE OP WASHINGTON. [1775. 

a risk of making enemies of those, who were willing to 
be friends. 

General (Jage commanded the British troops in Bos- 



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>«T. 4.^1 T.TFK OF WASHTNOTON. 155 



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JSt.43.] life op WASHINGTON. 161 



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ii5T.4a] LIFE OP WASHINGTON. 163 

the term of service of the Connecticut troops was about 
to expire, it was ascertained that they would go oflF in 
a body, and leave a fearful blank in an army ah'eady 
deficient in numbers and weakened by internal disor- 
ders. He appealed to every motive, which could stimu- 
late their patriotism, pride, or sense of honor, but all in 
vain; and it was with the greatest difficulty, that he 
could persuade them to stay ten days longer, till the 
militia could be assembled to supply their place. 

Orders were issued for calling in the miUtia. By a 
prudent foresight he had suggested to Congress the 
necessity of being intrusted with this authority, and it 
was granted in general terms. But here again a new 
trouble arose. The same spectre of military domina- 
tion, which had from the first struck so much dread into 
the minds of many persons, and had lunited the exis- 
tence of the present army to one year, was still busy 
in spreading its terrors, and tormenting its adversaries. 
If the Commander-in-chief could call out the whole 
force of the country at his option, where would be the 
bounds of his power, where the checks to soaring ambi- 
tion, where the safeguard of the people's liberties? 
Such questions were asked in a tone of triumphant con- 
fidence,Hmplying that they could not be answered. 
Happily Congress put an end to them by a simple ex- 
pedient They amended their resolve, by making it 
mcumbent on the Commander-in-chief to gain the con- 
sent of the executive authority of each colony, before 
he summoned its militia. In fact he had hitherto pro- 
ceeded in this way, and probably always would have 
done so ; but this form of the resolve allayed the fears 
of the alarmists, and was equally effectuaJ.* 

* An incident is related as having occurred while he was in the Con- 
vention for forming the Constitation, which was prohahly suggested hy 
his experience during the war. A member proposed to introduce a 



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iET.43.] LIFE OP WASHINGTON. 165 

question whether a case similar to ours is to be found ; 
namely, to maintain a post against the flower of the 
British troops for six months together, without powder, 
and then to have one army disbanded and another 



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166 LIFE OP WASHINGTON. [1775. 



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^T.44.] LIFE OP WASHINGTON. 169 

said he, "which have come upon us; could I have 
known that such backwardness would have been dis- 
covered by the old soldiers to the service, all the generals 
upon earth should not have convinced me of the pro- 
priety of delaying an attack upon Boston till this time/' 
He alludes here to the soldiers of the first army, who 
had refused to enlist, and gone home, in much greater 
numbers than he had anticipated. 

The new regiments were increasing very tardily. 
The time for which the five thousand militia engaged 
to serve had expired, and a few only could be prevailed 
upon to stay longer. Another call for militia was in- 
dispensable. Seven regiments were apportioned to 
Massachusetts, four to Connecticut, and two to New 
Hampshire. By the time these should come m, it was 
hoped the ice on the waters around Boston would be 
frozen hard enough to facilitate an assault on the town. 

Just at this moment arrived the news of the repulse 
at Quebec, and the death of General Montgomery, with 
an urgent request from General Schuyler, that three 
thousand men should be immediately sent into Canada, 
as the smallest force necessary to retrieve the loss, and 
to sustain the cause in that colony. Such a detachment 
from Washington's army was impossible, without ruin 
to himself; but, ever prompt to provide for exigences 
and to act for the general good, he instantly applied 
to the governments of Massachusetts, Connecticut, and 
New Hampshire to furnish each a regiment, which 
should continue in service one year, and march forth- 
with to Canada. To relieve these colonies from an 
increased burden, he allowed the three regiments to be 
taken from his last requisition, reserving ten for the main 
army. The proposal was well received, and the troops 
were raised and marched to Canada during the wmter. 

Besides the want of powder, which had at no time 

VOL. I. 22 o 



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JErr.U.] LIFE OP WASHINGTON. 171 

my wants, which I am determined not to do, feirther 
than unavoidable necessity brings every man acquamted 
with them. My situation is so irksome to me at tunes, 
that, if I did not consult the public good more than my 
own tranquillity, I should long ere this have put every 
thing on the cast of a die. So far from my having an 
army of twenty thousand men well armed, I have been 
here with less than half that number, includmg sick, 
furloughed, and on command, and those neither armed 
nor clothed as they should be. In short, my situation 
has been such, that I have been obliged to use art to 
conceal it from my own oflScers.'* 

As a contrast to this representation, proving the 
buoyancy of his mind and his determmed spirit under 
the heaviest depression, another passage is here quoted 
torn the same letter. 

**With respect to myself, I have never entertained 
an idea of an accommodation, since I heard of the 
measures, which were adopted in consequence of the 
Bunker^s Hill fight The King's speech has confirmed 
the sentiments I entertained upon the news of that 
affair ; and, if every man was of my mind, the ministers 
of Great Britain should know, in a few words, upon 
what issue the cause should be put I would not be 
deceived by artful declarations, nor specious pretences ; 
nor would I be amused by unmeaning propositions ; but 
in open, undisguised, and manly terms proclaim our 
wrongs, and our resolution to be redressed. I would 
tell them, that we had borne much, that we had long 
and ardendy sought for reconciliation upon honorable 
terms, that it had been denied us, that all our attempts 
after peace had proved abortive, and had been grossly 
misrepresented, that we had done every thing which 
could be expected fcom the best of subjects, that the 
spirit of fi'eedom rises too high in us to submit to slavery. 



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^T.44.] LIFE OF WASHINGTON. 173 

As Dorchester Heights commanded the harbour, and 
also Nook's Hill, from which the town could easily be 
annoyed by cannon and mortars, it was expected that 
the enemy would attempt to dislodge the American 
detachment, and that the scenes of Bunker's Hill would 
again be acted over. In anticipation of such an event, 
Washington prepared to assault the town at the same 
time on the opposite side. For this service four thou- 
sand chosen men were set apart, and put in two 
divisions, one imder General Sullivan, the other under 
General Greene, the whole bemg commanded by Gren- 
eral Putnam. At a concerted signal they were to embark 
in boats, near the mouth of Charles River, attended by 
three floating batteries, imder the fire of which they 
were to land in the town, and then act according to 
circumstances and instructions given by signals. 

In the event there was no occasion for this attempt 
It was not the policy of General Howe, nor consistent 
with his designs, to bring on a general engagement 
He remained in Boston at his own discretion, it having 
been recommended to him by the ministry, several 
months before, to leave that place and repair to a 
southern port. Although he thought there were solid 
reasons against such a step, yet he did not choose to 
sacrifice his men, or run hazards, while so much rested 
on his responsibility. But when the admiral told him, 
that, unless the Americans were dislodged from Dor- 
chester Heights, the Bang's ships could not remain in 
the harbour, he consented to detach three thousand 
men under Lord Percy for that purpose. The execu- 
tion of the plan was defeated by a furious storm, which 
came on while the troops were embarkmg. The next 
day he determined to suspend offensive operations and 
to evacuate the town. 

Washmgton had regarded this result as probable, and. 



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174 LIFE OF WASHINGTON. [1776. 

having no other motive for tempting General Howe to 
an engagement, than that of forcing him from the town, 
it was of course accordant with his principles and his 
wishes, that it should be done without bloodshed. His 
only aim, therefore, was to keep his posts strongly 
guarded, and his troops ready for action. Humanity 
and policy required also, that the town should be saved, 
if possible, fix)m the ravage and destruction to which it 
must inevitably be exposed by an assault Appre- 
hendmg such an issue, after the Americans had planted 
themselves on Dorchester Heights, the inhabitants ob- 
tained fcom General Howe a declaration, that the town 
should not be destroyed, unless the King's troops were 
molested during their embarkation. An informal mes- 
sage to this effect was forwarded to Washmgton by the 
selectmen of the town; but he declined taking any 
notice of it, as not being authenticated by the name of 
the British commander. This proceeding was enough, 
however, to produce a tacit understanding between the 
parties, and tie troops were allowed to depart without 
molestation. The town was left uninjured, except fix)m 
the natural effects of having been so long occupied 
by soldiers, and the disorders attending so hasty an 
embarkation. 

Boston was evacuated on the 17th of March, and 
several regunents commanded by General Putnam im- 
mediately entered it, and took possession of all the 
posts. It was found to be very strongly fortified. Gen- 
eral Washington himself went into the town the next 
day, and was received with enthusiasm by the inhabi- 
tants; The legislature of Massachusetts took an eariy 
opportunity to present to him an address, expressive of 
their respect and attachment, their obligations for the 
great services he had rendered to his country, and 
their thanks for the deference he had mvariably shown 



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THE KRW YORK 
PUBLIC LlBiVAUY 

. iSTOB. IF.SOX. Ai;i) 
IxiLDMJFOUKDATlOHS 



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^T.44.] LIFE OF WASHINGTON. 176 

to the civil authorities. In reply he reciprocated their 
kind sentiments, congratulated them on the recent 
event, particularly as having been effected without the 
effusion of blood, but intimated, as to his own agen- 
cy, that he had only done his duty, "wishing for 
no other reward, than that arising from a conscien- 
tious discharge of his important trust, and that his 
services might contribute to the establishment of free- 
dom and peace, upon a permanent foundation, and 
merit the applause of his countrymen and every vir- 
tuous citizen/* 

Congress were not backward in rendering a due 
tribute to their Commander-in-chief. A unanimous vote 
of thanks was conveyed to him in a letter, drafted by a 
committee expressly appointed for the occasion, and 
signed by the President A gold medal was ordered 
to be struck, commemorative of the evacuation of Bos- 
ton, and as an honorable token of the public approbation 
of his conduct. 

General Howe, with his army m seventy-eight ships 
and transports, sailed for Halifax. His effective force, 
includmg seamen, was about eleven thousand men. 
More than a thousand refugees left Boston in his fleet. 
By the adjutant's return, Washington's army, officers 
and men, amounted to twenty-one thousand eight hun- 
dred, of which number two thousand seven hundred 
were sick. The enlistments had been more successful 
latterly than at first There were also six thousand eight 
hundred militia, most of whom had been suddenly called 
in from the neighbouring towns, to strengthen the lines 
in case of an attack on Boston. 

It was reported, while the troops were preparing to 
embark, that they were destined for Halifax ; but, sus- 
pecting this to be given out by the British commander 
as a feint to cover his real designs, and anxious for the 



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176 LIFE OF WASHINGTON. [1776. 

safety of New York, General Washington called for two 
thousand militia from Connecticut, and one thousand 
from New Jersey, to be thrown into that city without 
delay, which, added to the force abeady on the spot, 
might oppose the landing of the enemy till his own 
troops could arrive. The day after the evacuation, he 
ordered five Continental regiments, the battalion of rifle- 
men, and two companies of artillery to march under 
General Heath. They went by land to Norwich, and 
thence by water through the Sound. The whole army, 
except five regiments detained for the defence of Bos- 
ton under General Ward, followed m divisions, pursuing 
the same route. Putnam was sent forward to take the 
command in New York; Lee having been appointed 
by Congress to the southern department, and having 
hastened thither to watch the motions of General Clin- 
ton, who it was expected would make a descent some- 
where on the coast at the south. 

The British fleet lingered ten days in Nantasket 
Road, and Washington could not venture to leave his 
post, nor indeed to order away all his army, till assured 
that the fleet had actually put to sea. When this was 
ascertained, he set off for New Yorif, passing through 
Providence, Norwich, and New London. At Norwich 
he had an interview with Governor Trumbull, who came 
there to meet him. On the 13th of April he arrived in 
New York. The divisions of the army, moving more 
slowly, did not unite m that place till some days later. 

It was soon evident, that Gteneral Howe had gone m 
another direction, and that no immediate danger was to 
be apprehended fix)m the enemy. The British armed 
vessels, hitherto remaining in the harbour, retired down 
to Sandy Hook, twenty-five miles irom the city. The 
militia fix)m Connecticut and New Jersey v^rere dis- 
charged. The first task of the Commander was to 



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JEt.44.] life op WASHINGTON. 177 

inspect the works begun by General Lee» direct their 
completion, and prepare other means of defence. 

Affairs in Canada became every day more gloomy. 
The unfortunate repulse at Quebec, the want of an 
efficient commander after the fall of the gallant Mont- 
gomery, the severity of the winter, and the deficiency of 
supplies, all contributed to dishearten the troops, dimm- 
ish their strength, destroy discipline, and engender con- 
fusion. Reinforcements from England would certainly 
be in the River St Lawrence, as soon as the ice should 
break up. Congress, justly fearing the consequences, 
requested Washington first to detach four regiments, 
and then six others, to act in the northern department. 
He approved this measure fit)m the conviction, that the 
public interests would thus be served ; since no support 
could be obtained in Canada, except what was sent 
there, whereas at New York the militia on an emergency 
might be summoned from the surrounding country. 

The presence of General Washington being thought 
essential at Congress, for the purpose of advising with 
them on the state of affairs, and concerting arrange- 
ments for the campaign, he repaired to Philadelphia, 
leaving the army in the command of General Putnam. 
On his way he examined Staten Island, and the opposite 
Jersey shore, with the view of determining the proper 
places for works of defence. He was absent fifteen 
days. He seems to have been disappointed and con- 
cerned at discovering divisions in Congress, which por- 
tended no good to the common cause. It was known, 
fit)m the late proceedings in Parliament, that commis- 
sioners were coming out with proposals of accommoda- 
tion. In a letter to his brother, written at Philadelphia, 
he speaks as follows. 

"I am very glad to find, that the Virgmia Convention 
have passed so noble a vote, and with so much una- 

voL. I. 23 



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178 LIFE OF WASHINGTON. [177a 



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180 LIFE OF WASHINGTON. ri77fi. 



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-fflT.44.] LIFE OP WASHINGTON. 181 



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182 LIFE OF WASHINGTON. [1776. 



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iET.44.] LIFE OF WASHINGTON. 183 

Lord Howe joined his brother at Staten Island before 



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^T.44.] LIFE OF WASHINGTON. 187 

as good a state of defence, as the time and circum- 
stances would permit. Plans were concerted for attack- 
ing the enemy on Staten Island by parties from the 



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188 LIFE OF WASHINGTON. [1776. 

Even this small army was greatly divided, being sta- 
tioned at many points, from Brooklyn to Kingsbridge, 
over a space of more than fifteen miles in extent 

At this critical time there began to be collisions in 
the army, threatening serious consequences. Collected 
from various parts of the country, and coming together 
with local partialities, the oflScers yielded to a spirit of 
jealousy, and even gave vent to disrespectful language, 
which produced irritation and discord. The example 
was naturally followed by the soldiers. To check at 
the outset a symptom so dangerous, the Commander-m- 
chief resorted to persuasion and reprimand. In the 
orders of the day he said; "The General most earnestly 
entreats the oflScers and soldiers to consider the conse- 
quences ; that they can no way assist our enemies more 
eflfectually, than by making divisions among ourselves ; 
that the honor and success of the army, and the safety 
of our bleeding country, depend upon harmony and good 
agreement with each other; that the provinces are all 
united to oppose the common enemy, and all distinctions 
sunk in the name of an American. To make this name 
honorable, and to preserve the liberty of our country, 
ought to be our only emulation ; and he will be the best 
soldier and the best patriot, who contributes most to this 
glorious work, whatever his station, or from whatever 
part of the continent he may come. Let all distinctions 
of nations, countries, and provinces, therefore, be lost in 
the generous contest, who shall behave with the most 
courage against the enemy, and the most kindness and 
good humor to each other. If there be any oflScers or 
soldiers so lost to virtue and a love of their country, as 
to continue in such practices after this order, the Gen- 
eral assures them, and is authorized by Congress to 
declare to the whole army, that such persons shall be 
severely punished and dismissed from the service with 



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iET.44.] LIFE OF WASHINGTON. 189 

disgrace.'' This timely and energetic appeal did not 
pass unheeded, but it was long before entire harmony 
subsisted among all parts of the army. Nor indeed 
was it ever so firmly established, that caution was not 



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190 LIFE OP WASHINGTON. [177a 

of hills covered with a thick wood, and crossed by three 
roads. The precaution had been taken to throw up 
breast-works at the principal passes on these hills, 
where three or four regiments were stationed. General 
Greene at first commanded on Long Island, but falling 



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JEt.44.] life op WASHINGTON. 191 

regiments, fought with signal bravery, contesting every 
foot of ground against a greatly superior force, till Lord 
Comwallis, with a detachment from CUnton's division, 
came upon their rear, brought them between two fires, 
and compelled them to retreat within their lines across 
a creek and marsh near Growan's Cove. General Sul- 
livan, with the regiments on the heights above Flatbush, 
being attacked by De Heister on one side and Clinton 



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192 LIFE OF WASHINGTON. [1770\ 

the next day kept the main body of the enemy in their 
tents. Light parties came out, and there was occasional 
skirmishing near the lines. A strong head wind pre- 
vented the ships from ascending the harbour. The loss 



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iET.44] LIFE OP WASHINGTON. 193 

tions, that for forty-eight hours he did not close his 
eyes, and rarely dismounted fix)m his horse. 

There have been various strictures on this battle, both 
in regard to the action itself and to the policy of Wash- 
ington in attempting to oppose the enemy at all on Long 
Island. The strange oversight m leaving the Jamaica 
road unguarded, and the neglect in procuring early and 
constant intelligence of the movements of the British 
army, were the immediate causes of the deplorable 
events of the day. These faults, however, such as 
they were, rested with the officers on the Island. Gren- 
eral Washington had given express instructions, that the 
strictest vigilance should be observed in every part of 
the outer lines. It was unfortunate that the iUness of 
General Greene deprived the commander on the spot 
of his counsel, he being thoroughly acquainted with the 
grounds and the roads ; whereas General Putnam took 
the command only four days before the action, and of 
course had not been able fix)m personal inspection to 
gam the requisite knowledge. The want of vedettes 
was another unfortunate circumstance. To communi- 
cate mtelligence with sufficient celerity over so wide a 
space, without light-horse, was impracticable. At this 
time, however, not a smgle company of cavalry had been 
attached to the American army. 

As to the other pomt, the propriety of mamtaining a^ 
stand on Long Island, it must be considered, that the 
enemy was to be met somewhere, that the works at 
Brookljm offered a fair prospect of defence for a con- 
siderable time at least, that the abandonment of the 
Island would open a free passage to Greneral Howe to 
the very borders of New York, separated only by the 
East River, and that to retreat, without even a show of 
resistance, as the first operation of the campaign, would 
be unsatis&ctory to Congress, the country, and the army. 

VOL. I. 25 Q 



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194 LIFE OP WASHINGTON. [177a 

Besides, it was not the purpose of Washington to entice 
the enemy to a general action, or allow himsdf to be 
drawn into one, if it could possibly be avdded Such 
an experiment, with his raw troops and militia, against 
a fierce superior in numbers, and still more so in expe- 
rience and discipline, aided by a pow^iul fleet, he well 
knew would be the height of rashness, and might end 
in the total ruin of the American cause* Wisdom and 
prudence dictated a different course. To wear away 
the campaign by keeping the enemy employed in small 
encounters, dividing their attention, and interposing ob- 
stacles to their progress, was all that could be done or 
undertaken with any reasonable hope of success. Such 
a system would diminish the resources of the enemy, 
habituate his own soldiers to the practices of war, give 
the country an opportunity to gather strength by union 
and time, and thus prepare the way for more decisive 
efforts at a future day. This policy, so sound in its 
principles, and so triumphant in its final results, was not 
relished by the short-sighted multitude, eager to hear of 
batdes and victories, and ready to ascribe the disap- 
pointment of their wishes to the fault of the General. 
The murmurs and complaints of such persons, though 
so loudly and widely expressed that they might be 
taken as denoting the public sentiment, were borne 
with fortitude by Washmgton ; nor did he suffer himself 
to be tumeil by them from what he believed to be his 
duty in watching over the vital interests of his country. 

The recent defeat produced a most unfavorable im- 
pression upon the army, which is described as follows 
m a letter from General Washmgton to the President 
of Congress. 

"Our situation is truly distressing. The check our 
detachment sustained on the 27th ultimo has dispirited 
too great a proportion of our troops, and filled thw 



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-fiT.44.] LIFE OP WASHINGTON. 197 



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198 LIFE OF WASHINGTON. [177flw 



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/Et. 44.] LIFE OF WASHINGTON. 199 

of his army, commanded by General Clinton, consisting 
of British and Hessians, at the head of Newtown Bay 
on Long Island. About eleven o'clock, these troops, 
having come mto the East River, began to land at Kip's 
Bay, under the fire of two forty-gun ships and three 
fiigates. Batteries had been erected there ; but the men 



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iET.44.1 LIFE OP WASHINGTON. 203 

ereat' delusion to the British mmisters sdmost to the end 



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iET.44.] LIFE OF WASHINGTON. 205 

upon the stretch; the wounds, which my feelings as an 
officer have received by a thousand things, that have 
happened contrary to my expectations and wishes ; the 



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206 LIFE OP WASHINGTON. [177(1 

according to their ability. The largest quota was fifteen 
battalions, which number was assigned respectively to 
Virginia and Massachusetts. The men were to serve 



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JSt.44.] life op WASHINGTON. 207 

to the army, with full powers to arrange with the 
CJommander-in-chief the appointment of all the officers. 
With the jealousy of State sovereignty, and the fear of 
a standing army, this was all that could be obtained 
from the representatives of the States. And perhaps 
it was enough, considering their want of power to 
execute their resolves, and the necessity of being cau- 
tious to pass such only as the people would approve 
and obey. The above plan was modified before it 
went into effect, by allowing men to enlist for three 
years; these men not receiving the bounty in land. 
Hence the army from that time was composed of two 
kinds of troops, those engaged for the war, and those 
for three years. At length, also, the States being neg- 
ligent and tardy in providing for the appointment of 
officers. Congress authorized General Washington to 
fill up the vacancies. 

A circular letter was written by the President of 
Congress to the States, urging them to complete their 
quotas without delay. The proper steps were imme- 
diately taken ; but an evil soon crept into the system, 
which produced much mischief throughout the war. 
To hasten enlistments, some of the States offered boun- 
ties in addition to those given by Congress; and in 
many cases the towns, to which quotas were assigned 
by the State gSvemments, raised the bounties still higher, 
differing from each other in the amount Agam, when 
the militia were called out on a sudden emergency, it 
was usual to offer them extraordinary rewards for a 
short term of service. This practice was injurious on 
many accounts. It kept back men irom enlisting by the 
hope of higher bounties ; and, when they were brought 
together in the field, although the Continental pay was 
uniform, yet many were receiving more fit)m incidental 
bounties, and in various proportions, which created 



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208 LIFE OF WASHINGTON. [1776. 

murmurings and jealousies between individuals, com- 
panies, and regiments. Nor was there the salutary check 



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-fiT.44.] LIFE OF WASHINGTON. 209 

Two brigades of British troops, and one of Hessians, 
amounting to five thousand men, were left under Earl 
Percy at Haeriem to cover the city of New York. 
General Howe remained five days at Frog's Point, 
waiting, as he says, for stores, provisions, and three 
battalions fix)m Staten Island; but, according to the 
American accounts, the strong defences, guarded by 
detachments from Washington's army, and the destruc- 
tion of the causeway connecting the Point with the 
mam land, discouraged him fix)m attemptmg to march 
into the country at that place. He reembarked, landed 
again at Pell's Point, and advanced to the high grounds 
between East Chester and New Rochelle. Four days 
later he was joined by General Knyphausen with the 
second division of Hessians, and a regiment of Wal- 
deckers,just arrived torn Europe. 

General Washington took measures to counteract 
these movements and the designs of them. He ar- 
ranged his army in four divisions, commanded respec- 
tively by Major-Generals Lee, Heath, Sullivan, and 
Lincoln. The last was not a Continental officer, but 
had recently come forward with a body of Massachusetts 
militia. It was decided in a council of war, that the 
army should leave New York Island, and be extended 
into the country, so as to outflank General Howe's 
columns. At the same time it was agreed, ** that Fort 
Washington should be retained as long as possible.'* 
Two thousand men were left for that object 

One of the four divisions crossed Kingsbridge, and 
threw up breast- works at Valentine's Hill. The others 
followed and formed a line of detached camps, with 
intrenchments, on the heights stretching along the west 
side of the River Brunx, from Valentine's Hill to White 
Plains. This disposition was necessary in order to 
protect the baggage, stores, and cannon, which were 

VOL. I. 27 R * 



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.fiT.44.] LIFE OP WASHINGTON. 213 

the best manner he could, he ordered all the troops 



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214 LIFE OP WASHTNOTON. MTTfi 



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216 LIFE OP WASHINGTON. [1776. 

absolute order for withdrawing the garrison, till I could 
get round and see the situation of things, and then it 
became too late, as the fort was invested. Upon the 
passing of the last ships, I had given it as my opinion 
to General Greene, under whose care it was, that it 
would be best to evacuate the place ; but, as the order 
was discretionary, and his opinion differed from mine, 
it unhappily was delayed too long.^ 

From these facts it seems plain, that the loss of the 
garrison, in the manner it occurred, was the conse- 
quence of an erroneous judgment on the part of Gen- 
eral Greene. How far the Commander-in-chief should 
have overruled his opinion, or whether, under the cir- 
cumstances of the case, he ought to have given a per- 
emptory order, it may perhaps be less easy to decide. 

Sir William Howe followed up his successes. A 
detachment of six thousand men, led by Eari Com- 
wallis, landed on the Jersey side, six or seven miles 
above Fort Lee, gained the high grounds with artillery, 
and marched down between the Hudson and Hackinsac 
Rivers. The whole body of troops with Washington 
not bemg equal to this force, he withdrew the garrison 
from Fort Lee to the main army at Hackinsac, leaving 
behmd the heavy cannon, many tents, and a large 
quantity of baggage, provision, and other stores, which 
the rapid advance of the enemy made it impossible to 
secure. Being now in a level country, where defence 
was difficult, pent up between rivers, and pressed by 
a force double his own, no resource remained but a 
rapid retreat The Jersey shore, from New York to 
Brunswic, was open to the British vessels, and a landmg 
might be effected at any place without opposition. It 
was necessary, therefore, that- he should move towards 
the Delaware, pursuing a route near the Rariton River, 
that he might be in the way to prevent General Howe 



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-fiT.44.] LIFE OP WASHINGTON. 217 

from throwing in a strong detachment between him and 
Philadelphia. 

While on the march, he wrote earnest letters to 
the governor of New Jersey and to Congress, describ- 
ing his situation, and requestmg the support of all 
the militia from New Jersey and Pennsylvania, that 
could be called into the service. When he arrived at 
Brunswic, the army then with him amounted to less 
than four thousand. He was closely pursued by Com- 
wallis; but the retreat was effected, without loss, to 
Trenton, where he crossed the Delaware, and took a 
stand on the western side of that river, securing the 
boats, and guardmg the crossmg-places from Coryell's 
Ferry to Bristol At this time the number of his men, 
fit for duty, was about three thousand. The enemy 
did not attempt to pass the river. For the present. 
General Howe was contented with having overrun New 
Jersey ; and he covered his acquisition by a chain of 
cantonments at Pennington, Trenton, Bordentown, and 
Burlington. In these positions the two armies con- 
tinued with little change for nearly three weeks. 

The troops, constituting the Flymg Camp heretofore 
mentioned, were all enlisted in the middle States, and 
engaged for a year. Their term of service expired 
during the march, and none, except a small part of 
those from Pennsylvania, could be prevailed on to stay 
longer. The Board of War suggested a plan for en- 
listing prisoners, and appealed to the example of the 
enemy. General Washington opposed the measure, as 
not accordant with the rules of honorable warfare, and 
said he should remonstrate on the subject to Sir William 
Howe. He moreover thought it impolitic. In times 
of danger, such recruits would always be the most 
backward, fearing the punishment they would receive 
if captured, and communicating their fears to the other 

VOL. I. 28 s 



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218 LIFE OF WASHINGTON. [1776. 

soldiers. Prisoners would likewise be tempted to enlist 



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220 LIFE OF WASHINGTON. [I77a 

ranks, impatient of control even by Congress or the 
Commander-in-chief, and always pressing on the verge 
of disobedience, his arrogance had risen to a pitch, 
that must soon have led to mischievous consequences 
to himself, and perhaps to the country, if he had escaped 
the misfortune of captivity. He was a man of genius, 
well educated, and a skilful writer ; but eccentric in his 
habits, unsettled in his principles, often offensive in his 
manners, showing little deference to the opmions and 
feelings of others, and litde regard to the usages of 
society. 

The command of JLee's division devolved on General 
Sullivan, who marched with it as soon as possible to 
the main army. Four regiments under General Gates 
also arrived from Ticonderoga, being relieved at that 
place by the retreat of General Carleton to Canada for 
winter-quarters. These were all the regular forces, 
which General Washington could draw to his support. 
Heath was ordered to advance with a part of his division 
from the Highlands; but the taking of Rhode Island 
by the British, and the threatening appearance of the 
enemy's vessels in the Sound, made it imprudent to 
weaken that post, or to call away any of the eastern 
troops, and the order was countermanded. Three regi- 
ments on their march from Ticonderoga were ordered 
to halt at Morristown, that, in conjunction with a body 
of militia there assembled, they might inspirit the in- 
habitants and protect the country in that quarter. 

As soon as the ice should become sufficiently strong, 
it was expected the enemy would pass the Delaware, 
and bring all their force to bear upon Philadelphia. 
Anticipating this event, Congress adjourned to Balti- 
more. General Putnam took the command of the militia 
in Philadelphia, being instructed to throw up a line of 
intrenchments and redoubts from the Delaware to the 
Schuylkill, and prepare for an obstmate defence. 



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iET.44.] LIFE OF WASHINGTON. 226 

felt as the centre and moving spring of the operations 

nvpr whiph hi*. haH rnntroL ^n man was mnrft vifrilant 



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226 LIFE OF WASHINGTON. [1776L 

indicated in a letter of instructions to Colonel Baylor, 
who was to command a regiment of light-horse. 

"As nothing contributes so much to the constitution 
of a good regiment," said he, "as a good corps of 



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^T.44.] LIFE OP WASHINGTON. 229 

The ice had formed so fast in the river below Trenton, 
that it was impracticable for the troops mider Cadwalader 
and Ewing to pass over at the times agreed upon. 



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230 LIFE OP WASHINGTON. [177f 

t>ccurring on the last day of the year ; and, worn down 
with the extraordinary hardships of the campaign, the 
men seemed at first determined to go off in a body, 
and return to their homes. By much persuasion, how- 
ever, and the exertions of their officers, seconded by a 
bounty of ten dollars to each man, more than half of 
them agreed to remain six weeks longer. 

It was not presumed that Sir William Howe would 
long permit the Americans quietly to possess the ad- 
vantages they had gained, or delay to retaliate for the 
disasters his army had suffered. He was now in New 
York; and, when the intelligence of the late events 



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232 LIFE OF WASHINGTON. [177^ T/ 



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234 LIFE OF WASHINGTON. [177f 

to be on the verge of annihilation, and the whole world 
regarded American liberty as struggling in the last stage 
of its existence, he commenced and pursued an offensive 
warfare against a hitherto victorious army, strong in 
numbers and confident in its strength, and, within the 
brief space of three weeks, dislodged it from every post 
it had taken along the Delaware River, relieved Phila- 
delphia from danger, and recovered ahnost the whole 
province of New Jersey. The glory of these achieve- 
ments was rendered doubly conspicuous by their im- 
mediate effects. The despondency, which had weighed 
heavily upon the minds of the people, was dispelled as 
by a charm, the martial spirit was revived, and a new 
animation infused into the public counsels. 

The classical and eloquent Italian historian of the 
war, Charles Botta, after describing these transactions, 
adds; "Achievements so astonishing gained for the 
American commander a very great reputation, and were 
regarded with wonder by all nations, as well as by the 
Americans. Every one applauded the prudence, the 
firmness, and the daring of General Washington. All 
declared him the saviour of his country ; all proclaimed 
him equal to the most renowned commanders of an- 
tiquity, and especially distinguished him by the name of 
the Ajmerican Fabius. His name was in the mouths 
of all men, and celebrated by the pens of the most emi- 
nent writers. The greatest personages in Europe be- 
stowed upon him praise and congratulation. Thus the 
American General wanted neither a noble cause to 
defend, nor an opportunity for acquiring glory, nor the 
genius to avail himself of it, nor a whole generation 
of men competent and well disposed to render him 
homage.'* * 

* Storia della Guerra delP Independenza degli Stati Uniti d' Ameri- 
ca, Tom. n. Lib. 7. 



7 



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236 LIFE OP WASHINGTON. [1777. 

outrages upon the inhabitants, without discriminating 
between friends and foes. In one respect this conduct 
was serviceable to the cause of the patriots. It roused 
the mdignation of the people, and, goaded by the deep 
feeling of their wrongs, the militia flew to arms with 
an alacrity and determination not surpassed on any 
former occasion. A large number of substantial farmers, 
however, more pacific in their dispositions, who had 
taken advantage of the proclamation, professed scruples 
m regard to their oath. They looked upon their pledge 
as binding them at least to a passive neutrality. 

To remove this difficulty, and draw a proper line of 
distinction between friends and enemies, (Jeneral Wash- 
mgton issued a counter proclamation, commanding all 
persons, who had received protections from the British 
commissioners, to repair to head-quarters or to some 
general officer of the army, deliver up such protections, 
and take an oath of allegiance to the United States ; 
"nevertheless granting full liberty to all such, as pre- 
ferred the interests and protection of Great Britam to 
the freedom and happiness of their country, forthwith 
to withdraw themselves and their families within the 
enemy's Dnes.^ Thirty days were allowed for comply- 
ing with this order, at the end of which period, those, 
who had neglected or refused to comply, were to be 
deemed as adherents to the King of Great Britain, and 
treated as enemies to the American States. 

Strange as it may be thought, the publishing of this 
proclamation was considered an undue exercise of 
power. Even in Congress it was censured by some 
of the members. The legislature of New Jersey more 
than hinted, that it was an encroachment on their pre- 
rogatives. An oath of allegiance to the United States 
was said to be absurd before the confederation was 
formed, and the power of requiring such an oath was 



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238 LIFE OP WASHINGTON. [1777. 

to combat the enemy. Congress, embarrassed by the 
novelty of their duties and the indefinite nature of 
their powers, deliberated with caution, and were seldom 
ready to act in military affiurs, till incited by the counsels 
or earnest entreaties of the Commander-in-chiet For 
several months he had urged upon them the necessity 
of a larger number of general officers in the army, 
and in February five additional major-generals and ten 
brigadiers were appointed. 

On this subject he always spoke with delicacy in 
his letters, rarely expressing an opinion as to the quali- 
fications of individuals, and avoiding equally the ap- 
pearance of partiality and of a wish to interfere in any 
degree with the appointing power. Various considera- 
tions produced delays and sometimes contentions in 
Congress respecting military appointments. Local pre- 
dilections interposed the chief obstacles. The claims 
of the respective States were to be regarded, according 
to which the general officers were to be taken from 
each in proportion to the number of troops it furnished. 
By this rule the best officers in the country could not 
be selected, if it happened that more than one or two 
resided in the same State. Moreover there were fire- 
quent disagreements among the delegates of a par- 
ticular State, in regard to the comparative merits of the 
candidates of such State, especially when the preten- 
sions of each were supported by the influence of fiiends 
or parties. This mode of appointing officers not only 
brought some into the service, who were incompetent 
to their high station, but created dissensions in the army 
about rank, and added to the many troubles that 
harassed the Commander-in-chiet 

Soon after General Howe arrived at Staten Island 
fix)m Halifax, a correspondence was opened between 
him and General Washington respecting the exchange 



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^T. 45.] LIFE OP WASHINGTON. 239 

of prisoners ; and it was mutually agreed, that officers 



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4) 

I 



240 LIFE OF WASHINGTON. [1777. 

theirs in our power? Why should we suppose them 
to possess more humanity than we have ourselves? 
Or why should an ineffectual attempt to relieve the 
, distresses of one brave, unfortunate man, involve many 
^ ^ more in the same calamities ? However drngreeable the 
fact may be, the enemy at this time naVe in their 
power, and subject to their call, near three hundred 
officers belonging to the army of the United States. 
In this number there are some of high rank; and most 
of them are men of bravery and merit The quota 
of theirs in our hands bears no proportion, being not 
more than fifty at most Under these circumstances, 
we should certainly do no act to draw upon the gen- 
tiemen belonging to us, and who have already suffered 
a long captivity, greater punishments than they have 
experienced and now experience. If we should, what 
will their feelings be, and those of their numerous and 
extensive connexions? Suppose the treatment pre- 
scribed for the Hessians should be pursued, will it not 
establish what the enemy have been aiming to effect 
by every artifice and the grossest misrepresentations, 
I mean, an opinion of our enmity towards them, and 
of the cruel conduct they experience when they fall 
into our hands, a prejudice which we on our part have 
heretofore thought it politic to suppress and to root 
out by every act of lenity and kindness ? It certainly 
will The Hessians would hear of the punishment 
with all the circumstances of heightened exaggeration, 
would feel the injury, without investigatmg the cause, 
or reasoning upon the justice or necessity of it The 
mischiefs, which may and must inevitably flow from 
the execution of the resolves, appear to be endless and 
mnumerable.'' 

On the other hand the American prisoners, who had 
been taken at Fort Washington and confined m New 



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^T.45.] LIFE OF WASHINGTON. 241 

York during the winter, had endured such sufferings 
as to excite universal indignation, and reflect reproach 
on the British commander. This is not the place to 
investigate the causes ; but the fact is indisputable, A 
large proportion of them sunk under their sufferings 
and died ; and, when others were sent out for exchange 
in the spring, they w^ere so much emaciated and broken 
down, so totally unfit for service, that General Wash- 
ington refused to return for them an equal number of 
healthy British or Hessian prisoners. Sir William Howe 
said this refusal was a violation of the rule for exchange, 
which had been agreed upon between them ; and, al- 
though he could not deny the facts, yet he declared 
the prisoners had been treated as well as his circum- 
stances would permit, and been provided with every 
thing necessary for their comfort General Washington 
replied ; 

"You must be sensible, that our engagement, as 
well as all others of the kind, though in the letter it 
expresses only an equality of rank and number, as the 
rule of exchange, yet necessarily implies a regard to 
the general principles of mutual compensation and ad- 
vantage. This is mherent in its nature, is the voice of 
reason ; and no stipulation, as to the condition in which 
prisoners should be returned, was requisite. Humanity 
dictated, that their treatment should be such, as their 
health and comfort demanded ; and, where her laws 
have been duly respected, their condition has been 
generally good. Nor is this the language of humanity 
alone ; justice declares the same. The object of every 
cartel, or similar agreement, is the benefit of the pris- 
oners themselves, and that of the contendmg powers. 
On this footing, it equally exacts, that they should be 
well treated, as well as that they should be exchanged. 
The reverse is, therefore, an evident infi'action, and 

VOL. I. 31 u 



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242 LIFE OF WASHINGTON. [1777. 

ought to subject the party, on whom it is chargeable, to 
all the damage and ill consequences resulting from it 
Nor can it be expected, that those unfitted for future 
service by acts of severity, m direct violation of a com- 
pact, are proper subjects for an exchange. In such 
case, to return others not in the same predicament, 
would be to give without receivmg an equivalent; and 
would afford the greatest encouragement to cruelty and 
inhumanity. The argument, drawn from the mere cir- 
cumstance of the prisoners having been received, is 
of no validity. Though, from their wretched situation, 
they could not, at that time, be deemed proper for an 
exchange, yet our humanity required, that they should 
be permitted to return among us. 

" It may, perhaps, be fairly doubted, whether an ap- 
prehension of their death, or that of a great part of 
them, did not contribute somewhat to their being sent 
out when they were. Such an event, whilst they 
remained with you, would have been truly interestmg ; 
because it would have destroyed every shadow of claim 
for a return of the prisoners m our hands ; and there- 
fore policy, concurring with humanity, dictated that the 
measure should be adopted. Happy had it been, if the 
expedient had been thought of before these ill-fated 
men were reduced to such extremity. It is confessed, 
however, on all sides, that, after their delivery, they 
still continued your prisoners, and would be so till 
regularly exchanged. 

"I acknowledge, that I should, and I have been 
always willing, notwithstanding this concession, to ac- 
count for every man, who was in a proper condition 
and fit to be exchanged at the time he came out, so 
far as the proportion of prisoners with us would extend. 
With what propriety, or upon what foundation of jus- 
tice, can more be demanded ? This has been proposed. 



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-fiT.45.] LIFE OP WASHINGTON. 243 

or, what is the same, was most clearly implied in the 
first article or objection made by Lieutenant- Colonel 
Harrison, and illiberally rejected since, ^as inconsistent 
with any degree of reason or common sense.' Painful 
as it is, I am compelled to consider it as a fact not to 



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244 LIFE OP WASHINGTON. [1777. 

dications of his designs for the campaign. His rein- 
forcements from Europe arrived later, and in smaller 
numbers, than he anticipated; and he was obliged to 
curtail the plans, which he had suggested to the minis- 
try the preceding autumn. 

That he might not seem to be idle, he sent up the 
Sound a detachment of two thousand men under Gov- 
ernor Tryon, who landed in Connecticut, marched into 
the country, and destroyed the public stores at Dan- 
bury. They were bravely met by the militia and a few 
Continental troops, who harassed them on their march, 
and pursued them back to their boats. In the ren- 
counters with the enemy on their retreat, Greneral 
Wooster and General Arnold were wounded. The 
former died of his wounds. 

At length General Howe enlarged his force at Bruns- 
wic, and began to build a bridge there, so constructed 
as to be laid on flat-boats, which it was supposed he 
intended to transport over land to the Delaware, and use 
in crossing that river. Meantime General Washington 
collected at Morristown the troops, which had been 
enlisted mto the new army in Virginia and the middle 
States, and ordered those from the eastward to assem- 
ble at Peekskill on the Hudson. The want of arms, 
hitherto severely felt, was opportunely supplied by the 
arrival of two vessels from France, containing twenty- 
four thousand muskets. 

Near the end of May he drew his main army to a 
very strong position at Middlebrook, only nine miles 
from Brunswic, and prepared to contest the passage 
of the enemy, should they attempt to move towards 
the Delaware. On the 13th of June, the British army 
marched from Brunswic, commanded by Sir William 
Howe in person, and stretched itself several miles into 
the country, well fortified on the right at Brunswic, 



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iET.45.] LIFE OP WASHINGTON. 245 



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246 LIFE OP WASHINGTON. [1777. 

over an the enemy's schemes. It now seemed more 
probable, that concerted operations between Howe and 
Burgoyne were m view, and that the former would 
speedily ascend the Hudson to form a junction with 
the latter. The fitting out of the fleet, it was supposed, 
might have the double aim of a feint to deceive the 
Americans into a belief that some distant operation by 
sea was intended, and of actually preparing to transport 
troops up the Hudson. It was likewise conjectured, 
that an attack on New England was meditated, with 
the view of creating a diversion in favor of Burgoyne ; 
and this was m fact a part of Howe's original plan, 
which he abandoned m consequence of the deficiency 
of his reinforcements from Europe, 

This state of things was peculiarly embarrassing to 
Washmgton. While it was necessary for him to watch 
every point, it was still more so, that he should be at 
hand to meet the blow wherever it should be struck. 
The great object, at which the British had been aiming 
from the beginning of the war, namely, a possession 
of Hudson's River and the communication with Canada, 
thus separating the eastern and southern States, was 
so important, that he could not doubt this to be the 
special intent of Burgoyne's expedition; and yet he 
had seen so many evidences of General Howe's designs 
upon Philadelphia, that he was unable to relinquish 
his conviction of their reality. The immediate danger, 
however, was on the Hudson, to guard against which 
he despatched two regiments to Peekskill, and prepared 
to follow with his whole army. 

This movement required caution and delay; for, should 
he withdraw his force too soon from the centre of 
Jersey, Sir William Howe might land his troops at 
South Amboy, and march to Philadelphia before he 
could be overtaken. But, when it was known, that 



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iET.45.] LIFE OP WASHINGTON. 247 

the enemy had actually embarked on board the fleet, 
Washington moved slowly* towards the Highlands by 



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248 LIPJ5 OP WASHINGTON. [1777. 

here that he had his first interview with the Marquis 
de Lafayette. The enthusiastic zeal with which that 
young nobleman had embraced the American cause, 
his romantic adventures in leaving his own country and 
crossing the Adantic, and the incidents which befell 
him on his arrival, are well known; and the part he 
acted during the war, his influence in gaining effectual 
aid from the French government, his deep and lasting 
attachment to Washington, the ardor and consistency 
with which he adhered to the mterests of his adopted 
country to the end of his life, and the affection which 
the people of that country have ever manifested for his 
person and character, all conspire to make the day on 
which he entered the service one of the most remark- 
able in the revolution, 

" When Lafayette arrived in Philadelphia, he put his 
letters into the hands of Mr. Lovell, Chairman of the 
Committee of Foreign Affairs. He called the next day 
at the Hall of Congress, and Mr. Lovell came out to 
him and said, that so many foreigners had offered 
themselves for employment, that Congress was embar- 
rassed with their ' applications, and he was sorry to 
inform him there was very litde hope of his success. 
Lafayette suspected his papers had not been read, and 
he immediately sat down and wrote a note to the 
President of Congress, in which he desired to be per- 
mitted to serve in the American army on two conditions; 
first, that he should receive no pay; secondly, that he 
should act as a volunteer. These terms were so dif- 
ferent from those demanded by other foreigners, and 
presented so few obstacles on the ground of an inter- 
ference with American officers, that they were at once 
accepted. His rank, zeal, perseverance, and disin- 
terestedness overcame every objection, and he was 



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JBt. 45.] LIFE OF WASHINGTON. 249 

appointed a major-general in the American army, more 

than a month before he had reached the age of twenty. 

"Washington was expected shortly in Philadelphia, 

and the young general concluded to await his arrival 



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250 LIFE OF WASHINGTON. [1777. 

For several days nothing was heard of the fleet, till 



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iET.45.] LIFE OP WASHINGTON. 253 

£^t J. 1 a1 _11 • J !_ xl_ _ _r aT^ _ 



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254 LIFE OP WASHINGTON. [1777 

which no foresight could guard. Although some of 
' ' ' ' ' ^ '" ' *' 5, and the larger part, 

ispired him and them- 
could have been pro- 

reated to Philadelphia, 
D. So far from being 
mgress were mspirited 
o strengthen the army 
as of defence in their 
lental troops were or- 
im's command on the 
nsylvania and the ad- 
o join the main army 



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iET.45.] LIFE OP WASHINGTON. 255 

had in no degree unsettled his own resolution, or 
damped the ardor of his troops. The two armies met 
twenty-three miles from Philadelphia, and an engage- 
ment was actually begun between the advanced parties, 
when a heavy rain came on and rendered both armies 
totally unfit to pursue the contest Washington retired 



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266 LIFE OF WASHINGTON. [1777. 

order, and a recruit of ammunition. Before this could 
be fully effected, the enemy marched from their position 
near the White Horse Tavern, down the road leading to 
the Swedes' Ford. I immediately crossed the Schuyl- 
kill above them, and threw myself full in their front, 
hoping to meet them on their passage, or soon after 
they had passed the river. The day before yesterday 
they were again in motion, and marched rapidly up the 
road leading towards Reading. This induced me to 
believe that they had two objects in view ; one to get 
round the right of the army, the other perhaps to de- 
tach parties to Reading, where we had considerable 
quantities of military stores. To frustrate those inten- 
tions, I moved the army up on this side of the river to 
this place, determined to keep pace with them ; but 
early this morning I received intelligence, that they had 
crossed the fords below. Why I did not follow imme- 
diately, I have mentioned in the former part of my 
letter; but the strongest reason against being able to 
make a forced march is the want of shoes. Messieurs 
Carroll, Chase, and Penn, who were some days with 
the army, can inform Congress in how deplorable a 
situation the troops are, for want of that necessary ar- 
ticle. At least one thousand men are barefooted, and 
have performed the marches in that condition,'' 

Congress adjourned first to Lancaster, and then 
to Yorktown in Pennsylvania, where they continued 
eight months, till Philadelphia was evacuated by the 
enemy. Immediately after the British entered the city. 
Lord Howe went out of the Chesapeake with his fleet 
and came round into the Delaware, intending to force 
the strong defences in that river, and ascend to Phila- 
delphia. To aid in this undertaking a detachment of 
British troops was stationed on the left bank of the 
river in New Jersey. The larger part of the army 



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258 LIFE OP WASHINGTON. [1777. 

as to reach their guards before they had notice of our 

: __j :r :^ i__j x i c xi_:_i_ r i_-_i. 



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iET.45.] LIFE OF WASHINGTON. 261 

chusetts troops; the surrender of Burgoyne, and the 
relinquishment by the British of their temporary acqui- 
sitions in the Highlands, rendering their services no 
longer necessary in that quarter. 



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262 LIFE OF WASHINGTON. [1777 

feeble a security as the certificates given on the author- 
ity of Congress. With his usual delicacy and caution, 
Washington was reluctant to exercise the powers with 
which he was intrusted to obtain supplies from the 
people by forcible means. The soundest policy forbade 
this practice, as long as it could possibly be avoided. 
It alienated friends, and added a new motive for disaf- 



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iET.45.] LIFE OP WASHINGTON. 263 

soning about their propriety ; on those of military power, 
whether immediate or derived originally from another 
source, thev have ever looked with a iealous or sus- 



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S64 LIFE OP WASHINGTON. [1777 

The officers differed widely in regard to the best 
mode of disposing of the army for the winter. Some 
advised that it should be quartered at Wilmington; 
others recommended the valley of Tredyfin, a few 
miles west of the Schuylkill, as the place of canton- 
ment ; while others preferred a line of detached posts 
extending from Lancaster to Reading. The matter was 
largely discussed in a council of war, and elaborate 
arguments m vvrriting were given for each of these 
dispositions. 

The opinions of the officers were so various and con- 
tradictory, that the Commander was finally obliged to 
act according to his own judgment, and on his own 
responsibility. He decided to establish a fortified en- 
campment at Valley Forge, about twenty miles fix)m 
Philadelphia. The ground was covered with woods, 
and bounded on one side by the Schuylkill, and on the 
others by ridges of hills. He examined the site in 
person, and designated the particular parts in which 
each regiment was to be quartered. The army marched 
to this place, and, on the 18th of December, orders 
were issued for building huts. Trees were felled for 
this purpose, and the huts were constructed with logs, 
the dimensions of each being sixteen feet by fourteen. 
One hut was assigned to twelve privates, and one to 
a smaller number of officers according to their rank. 
A general officer was the sole tenant of a hut These 
structures were arranged in parallel lines where the 
shape of the ground would admit, and, when the en- 
campment was completed, it had the appearance of a 
town with streets and avenues. Troops from the same 
State inhabited the same street or quarter. The whole 
encampment was surrounded on the land side by in- 
trenchments ; and a bridge was thrown across the river 
to open a communication with the country in that 



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iBT.45.] LIFE OF WASHINGTON. 265 

direction. Here the army remained till the following 
June. A detachment was also stationed at Wilmington, 
to protect the State of Delaware from the incursions 
of the enemy's foraging parties. 

The command of the American armies, and the re- 
sponsibilities attending that high office, were not the 
only causes of vexation, which at this time harassed 
the mind of Washington. Attempts were made by his 
public adversaries, and by secret foes wearing the mask 
of friendship, to destroy his influence and rum his 
character. 

A pamphlet was published in London, containing a 
series of letters, purportmg to hare been written by him 
in the summer of 1776, and vnth his signature attached 
to them. It was stated in the preface, that, when Fort 
Lee was evacuated. General Washington's servant was 
left behind indisposed; that in his possession was a 
small portmanteau belonging to the General, m which, 
among other things of trifling value, were the drafts of 
several private letters to Mrs. Washington, Mr. Lund 
Washington, and Mr. Custis ; and that these had been 
transmitted to England by an officer into whose hands 
they had fallen. This fiction was contrived to deceive 
the public into a belief of the genumeness of the letters, 
although in reality not one of Greneral Washington's 
servants, nor a smgle article of his baggage, was taken 
by the enemy in the whole course of the war. But 
the tenor of the letters was the most insidious part of 
the fabrication. Washington is represented as express- 
ing sentiments totally at variance with his conduct, and 
as deprecatmg the misguided zeal and rashness of Con- 
gress in declaring independence, and pushing the op- 
position to Great Britain to so perilous an extremity. 
The letters were reprinted in New York, and indus- 
triously circulated in various forms through the agency 

VOL. I. 34 w 



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266 LIFE OF WASHINGTON. [1777. 

of disaffected persons. The disguise was too flimsy to 
cover so nefarious a purpose. Whatever credit they 
may have gamed in England, they could have no mflu- 
ence on his countrymen, who understood his character. 

The author of these spurious episdes was never 
publicly known. They were written with considerable 
art, and by a person acquainted with many particulars 
of General Washington's family concerns. It is proba- 
ble, also, that parts of intercepted letters actually written 
by him were interwoven. He never thought the sub- 
ject worthy of his notice, till near the end of his presi- 
dency, when a new edition of these same forgeries was 
palmed upon the public to gratify the spleen of a ma- 
lignant party spirit, and to effect a purpose even more 
infamous than the one contemplated by their original 
author. He then declared them, in a letter to the 
Secretary of State, to be spurious and false. 

Whilst the enemies of his country were thus em- 
ployed in scattering the seeds of detraction and false- 
hood, the agents of faction were secretly at work, both in 
the army and in Congress, to disparage and undermine 
his reputation. This conspiracy has been called Con- 
way^s Cabal, from the name of the individual who acted 
the most conspicuous part. The other prominent lead- 
&CS were General Gates and General MiflSin. The 
causes and origm of the disaffection of these officers 
to the Commander-in-chief have not been explained. 
When they jomed the service, at the beginning of the 
war, they professed to be his friends, and probably were 
such. It was mainly at his mstance, that General Gates 
received his first appointment Being an Englishman 
by birth, some of the members of Congress had scruples 
on the subject, thinking their caiise would be safest in 
the charge of native Americans, both on account of 
their mfluence over the people, and of the ardor and 



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iET.45.] LIFE OF WASHINGTON. 267 

sincerity of their patriotism. These scruples were 
waved, however, in favor of Gates and Charles Lee, 
and in each case at the solicitation of Washington, who 
had confidence in their attachment to American liberty, 
and believed important aid might be derived from their 
military skill and experience. 

The first symptoms of discontent are supposed to 
have been manifested at Cambridge. Gates was ad- 
jutant-general of the army, with the rank of brigadier. 
Mifflin went there as aid-de-camp to the Commander- 
m-chief, by whom, under the authority of Congress, he 
was appointed quartermaster-general, with the rank of 
colonel. After the organization of the first Contmental 
army, Gates applied for the command of a brigade, and 
Mifflin of a regiment. These requests were declined 
by Washington, on the ground, in the first place, that 
the duties of their offices required their whole attention, 
and, in the next, that such an indulgence would interfere 
with the just claims of other officers. This refusal b 
thought to have given an ofience, that was not forgotten^ 
It is certain, that, after the army marched fi-om Cam- 
bridge, General Gates made interest with Congress to 
be employed at a distance irom Washington's immediate 
command, and continued to do so ; and the correspon- 
dence with him on the part of Gates, made necessary 
by his official relation to the Commander-in-chief, so far 
fix)m being cordial and friendly, was marked with " an 
air of design, a want of candor in many instances, and 
even of politeness." These are the words of Wash- 
mgton, contained m a letter to the President of Congress 
three years after the army left Cambridge, and they are 
verified by the correspondence since published. 

Conway, by birth an Irishman, had been m the 
French service fi'om his youth, and founded his claim 
to consideration on the circumstance of his being an 



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268 LIFE OP WASHINGTON. [1777. 

oflScer of thirty years' experience. He joined the army 
at Morristown, having the rank of brigadier, by the 
appointment of Congress. Of all the men in the 
world he was the last to conciliate the favor of Wash- 
ington. Boastful, presumptuous, and intriguing, bent 
on pushmg his fortune, and looking only to personal 
aggrandizement, he was unprincipled in regard to the 
means and reckless of consequences. Abundant proofs 
of these traits of character and of sinister aims were ex- 
hibited during the campaign ; and, when it was rumored 
that Conway was to be promoted, Washington Mrrote 
to a member of Congress a letter of strong remon- 
strance against it, assignmg his reasons without reserve. 
The success of the northern army, in the capture of 
, Burgoyne, was the signal for the malecontents to assume 
a bolder attitude m prosecuting their machinations. 
Anonymous letters were sent to the President of Con- 
gress and the Governor of Virginia, filled with insin- 
uations, complaints, and exaggerated statements, and 
ascribing all the misfortunes of the campaign to the in- 
capacity, or ill-timed Fabian policy, of the Commander- 
in-chief. It was affirmed, with as much effix)ntery as 
falsehood, that his force had been three or four times 
as large as that opposed to him; and no pams were 
spared to make it appear, that all his plans and opera- 
tions evinced a want of military knowledge, judgment, 
and decision. 

These artifices, though practised in secret for a time, 
were well known to Washington. His scrutinizing ob- 
servation easily penetrated the designs of those, who 
acted under the cloak of a pretended attachment ; and 
his real fiiends, moved not less by a sense of duty to 
their country, than of justice to him, took care to put 
him on his guard, and to acquaint him with the intrigues 
of the cabal, as far as they could be ascertained torn 



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iET.45.] LIFE OP WASHINGTON. 269 

overt acts, or inferred from less obvious indicaticms. 
Tlie affair wa^ at length brought to his notice in a defi- 
nite shape. When Colonel Wilkinson, one of Gates's 
aids-de-camp, was on his way from Saratoga to Con- 
gress, as bearer of despatches arinouncmg the cajritu- 
lation of Burgoyne, he stopped at the quarters of Lord 
Stirling, who was then at Reading. In a free conver- 
sation while there, Wilkinson repeated part of a let- 
ter, which Gates had received from Conway, contain- 
ing strictures on the management of the army under 
Washington, accompanied with disparagmg reflections. 
Prompted by patriotism and friendship. Lord Stirling 
communicated to him an extract from the letter as 
repeated by Wilkinson. A correspondence on the sub- 
ject followed between Washington, Gates, and Conway. 
The genuineness of the extract was denied, but the 
letter itself was never produced. Two or three persons 
afterwards saw it in confidence, among whom was Mr. 
Laurens, President of Congress; and, although the 
words proved not to be exactly the same, yet the tenor 
and spirit of the letter were accurately reported. The 
transaction, and the incidents springing from it, could 
not long be concealed from the officers of the army. 
Rumors respecting them went abroad, and the public 
sentiment was expressed in a tone so unequivocal and 
decided, as to discourage the instigators; and their 
schemes were abandoned, before they had produced 
any of the fatal mischiefs, which must inevitably have 
followed, if their ambitious hopes ^d been realized. 

There is no reason to suppose; that any of the 
officers were directly implicated m the cabal, except 
Gates, Mifflin, and Conway. That a considerable party 
m Congress favored the projects of these mai is evi- 
dent from the proceedmgs of that body for several 
months. After the capitulation at Saratoga, Gates for- 

w« 



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270 LIFE OF WASHINGTON. [1777. 

warded the official account of the event to Congress, 
without communicating the intelligence in any shape to 
the Commander-in-chief, which his duty as an officer 
and the common rules of courtesy required him to do ; 
and Congress never intimated their dissatisfaction with 



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iBT.45.] LIFE OP WASHINGTON. 271 

exhausted and all his hopes defeated, as the Board of 
War did nothing to fulfil their promise or promote 
the expedition, he returned to the camp at Valley 
Forge.* 

And it might here be recorded to the honor of La- 
fayette, if indeed his whole career in America was not 
a noble monument to his honor, his generosity, and 
unwavering fidelity to every trust reposed in him, that 
from the very first he resisted every attempt that was 
made by the flatteries of Conway, and the artifices of 
others, to bring him into the league. In the earliest 
stage of the cabal, before it had been whispered to the 
public, he wrote to Washington, stating his opinion of 
Conway, and his fears for the unhappy consequences 
that might flow from his conduct " I need not tell 
you,** said he, "how sorry I am at what has hap- 
pened; it is a necessary result of my tender and re- 
spectful fnendship for you, which is as true and candid 
as the other sentiments of my heart, and much stronger 
than so new an acquaintance might seem to admit 
But another reason for my concern is my ardent and 

• Before Lafayette commenced his journey to Albany, he rode to York- 
town, for the purpose of making arrangements with the Board of War. 
As soon as he arrived, he called on General Gates, whom he found sur- 
rounded by his friends seated at a dinner-table. They greeted him with 
much cordiality. He joined them at the table, the wine passed round, 
and several toasts were given. Determined not to act under disguise, 
and to take the first opportunity of letting his sentiments be known, he 
called to them, just as they were about to rise, and observed that one 
toast had been omitted, which he would propose. The glasses were filled, 
and he gave as a toast, <^The Commander-in-chief of the American 
armies." It is needless to say, that it was coldly received ; and it is 
possible, that this early and bold avowal of his predilections had some 
influence in damping the ardor, with which the leaders of the faction had 
planned this abortive Canada expedition. Conway was appointed second 
in command ; but Lafayette insisted that the Baron de Ealb, in whom 
he had confidence, should be one of the officers, which was granted, but 
not without evident reluctance. Baron de Kalb, being higher in rank 
than Conway, was thus the second in command, and Conway the third. 



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272 LIFE OP WASHINGTON. [1777. 

perhaps enthusiastic wish for the happiness and liberty 
of this country. I see plainly that America can defend 
herself, if proper measures are taken; but I begin to 
fear that she may be lost by herself and her own sons.** 
And again in conclusion he added ; " My desire of de- 
serving your approbation is strong ; and, whenever you 
shall employ me, you can be certain of my trjnng every 
exertion m my power to succeed. I am now bound to 
your fate, and I shall follow it and sustain it, as well 
by my sword as by all the means m my power.** To 
this pledge he was ever true.* 

Standing firm in his integrity, Washington took no 
psuns to counteract these machinations of his enemies, 
and, whatever may have been his regret and indigna- 
tion at such evidences of ingratitude and perfidy, he 
did not allow them to disturb his equanimity, or to turn 
him in the least degree fi-om his lofty purpose of serving 
his country in the sphere allotted to him with the dis- 
interestedness, diligence, and ardor, that characterized 
his public life in every vicissitude of events. In a letter 

• The following extract from a letter written by Lafayette to Baron 
Steuben, while the faction was at its height, affords an additional proof of 
his warm and generous friendship for Washington. It was dated at 
Albany, on the 12th of March, 1778. Baron Steuben had recenUy ar- 
rived in the country. 

"Permit me," said Lafayette, "to express my satisfaction at your 
having seen General Washington. No enemies to that great man can 
be found, except among the enemies to his country ; nor is it possible 
for any man of a noble spirit to refrain from loving the excellent qualities 
of his heart. I think I know him as well as any person, and such is the 
idea which I have formed of him. His honesty, his frankness, his sen- 
sibility, his virtue, to the full extent in which this word can be understood, 
are above all praise. It is not for me to judge of his military talents ; 
but, according to my imperfect knowledge of these matters, his advice in 
council has always appeared to mo the best, although his modesty pre- 
vents him sometimes from sustaining it ; and his predictions have gen- 
erally been fulfilled. I am the more happy in giving you this opinion of 
my fhend, with all the sincerity which I feel, because some persons may 
perhaps attempt to deceive you on this point*^ 



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T f E« E« rv El \%T A auTKinfnrvia 



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^T. 4a] LIFE OP WASHINGTON. 279 

of radical and extensive changes m the plans hitherto 
pursued, both in regard to the organization and disci- 
pline of the army, and to the methods of obtaining 
supplies. He deemed the subject to be of the utmost 
importance, and one upon the due adjustment of which 
would depend not only the efficiency, but even the ex- 
istence, of a Continental military force. That he might 
act upon the soundest principles, and with all the aids 
that could be collected from the knowledge and re- 
flections of others, he requested the general officers 
to state their sentiments in writing. The result was a 
series of elaborate essays, contaming such facts, dis- 
cussions, and opinions, as the judgment and military 
skill of the writers enabled them to present 

Moved by the earnest solicitations of Washington, 
Congress at the same time took the subject into con- 
sideration. Their debates finally terminated in the ap- 
pomtment of a committee of five members of their 
body, who were instructed to repair to the camp at 
Valley Forge, and invested with ample powers to confer 
with the Commander, and digest in concert with him 
such a system as would correct existing abuses, lead to 
salutary reforms, and put the army on the footing he 
desired. When the committee arrived in camp, he laid 
before them a memoir, drawn up with great care, repre- 
senting in detail the defects of previous arrangements, 
and containing an outline of a new and improved sys- 
tem. The committee continued in camp three months, 
and then returned to Congress and presented a report, 
which was in the mam adopted. 

On one point, however, which Washington consid- 
ered not more equitable in itself, than essential to the 
continuance of an army, there was great difference 
of opinion among the members of Congress. Hitherto 
there had been no provision made for the officers after 



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280 LIFE OP WASHINGTON. [1778. 

the war should end, and no other inducement offered 
to them than their common wages while m actual ser- 
vice. Numerous complaints and resignations convinced 
Washington, that this motive, even when strengthened 
by ambition and patriotism, was not enough. He pro* 
posed half-pay for life, after the close of the war, or 
some other permanent provision. 

**If my opinion be asked,'* said he in a letter to 
Congress, "with respect to the necessity of making 
this provision for the oflScers, I am ready to declare, 
that I do most religiously believe the salvation of the 
cause depends upon it, and, without it, your oflSicers wiB 
moulder to nothing, or be composed of low and illiterate 
men, void of capacity for this or any other busmess. 
To prove this, I can with truth aver, that scarce a day 
passes without the offer of two or three commissions ; 
and my advices from the eastward and southward are, 
that numbers who had gone home on furiough mean 
not to return, but are establishing themselves in more 
lucrative employments. Let Congress determine what 
will be the consequence of this spirit 

" Personally, as an officer, I have no interest in their 
decision, because I have declared, and I now repeat 
it, that I never will receive the smallest benefit torn 
the half-pay establishment; but, as a man who fights 
under the weight of a proscription, and as a citizen, 
who wishes to see the liberty of his country established 
upon a permanent foundation, and whose property de- 
pends upon the success of our arms, I am deeply in- 
terested. But, all this apart, and justice out of the 
question, upon the single ground of economy and public 
saving, I will maintain the utility of it ; for I have not 
the least doubt, that, until officers consider their com- 
missions in an honorable and interested point of view, 
and are afraid to endanger them by negligence and 



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^T.46.1 LIFE OF WASHINGTON. 281 



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282 LIFE OP WASHINGTON. [177a 

will; they may talk of patriotism; they may draw a 
few examples, from ancient story, of great achieve* 
ments performed by its influence ; but whoever builds 
upon them, as a sufficient basis for conducting a long 
and bloody war, will find himself deceived in the end 
We must take the passions of men as nature has given 
them, and those principles as a guide, which are gen- 
erally the rule of action. I do not mean to exclude 
altogether the idea of patriotbm. I know it exists, 
and I know it has done much in the present contest 
But I will venture to assert, that a great and lasting 
war can never be supported on this principle alone. 
It must be aided by a prospect of interest, or some 
reward For a time it may, of itself push men to ac- 
tion, to bear much, to encounter difficulties ; but it will 
not endure unassisted by interest** 

These representations, so judicious and forcible, could 
not fail to have some influence even on the mmds of 
those, who were the • most decided in their hostility to 
the measure. But they did not produce entire convic- 
tion, and the subject met with difficulties and delays. 
One party thought, or professed to think, that Congress 
had no power to act m such a matter, and proposed to 
refer it to the State legislatures ; another was haunted 
with the fear of a standing army, a privileged class, and 
a pension list; and another could see no difference 
between the sacrifices of the officers, in defending their 
country, and of private citizens, whose property was 
plundered, ravaged, and destroyed by the enemy. Af- 
ter much discussion, the plan of half-pay for life was 
carried, but by so small a majority that the vote was 
reconsidered, and a compromise was effected. By the 
ultimate decision, the officers were to receive half-pay 
for the term of seven years, and a gratuity of eighty 
dollars was to be given to each non-commissioned 



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284 LIFE OP WASHINGTON. [1778. 

which they may wish it to avoid. It is unjust, because 
no order of men in the Thirteen States has paid a 
more sacred regard to the proceedings of Congress 
than the army; for without arrogance or the smallest 
deviation from truth it may be said, that no history now 
extant can furnish an instance of an army's suffering 
such uncommon hardships as ours has done, and 
bearing them with the same patience and fortitude. 
To see men, without clothes to cover their nakedness, 
without blankets to lie on, without shoes (for the want 
of which their marches might be traced by the blood 
from their feet), and almost as often without provisions " 
as with them, marching through the frost and snow, 
and at Christmas taking up their winter-quarters with- 
in a day's march of the enemy, without a house or hut 
to cover them till they could be built, and submittmg 
without a murmur, is a proof of patience and obedience, 
which in my opinion can scarce be paralleled." 

Bound by strong ties of attachment to the army, on 
the good or ill fortunes of which his own reputation so 
much depended, he spared no efforts to redress its 
grievances, maintain its rights, and mitigate its suffer- 
ings ; but he was prompt and inflexible in checking the 
least disposition to encroach on the civil power, or to 
claim privileges, however reasonable in themselves, which 
the peculiar circumstances of the country rendered it 
hazardous or inexpedient to grant Considering the 
materials of the army, composed of freemen brought 
together and held together almost without the aid of law 
or of authority in any supreme head, unaccustomed to 
a soldier's life, impatient under discipline, and constantly 
exposed to extraordinary privations and distresses, it 
may truly be said, that no commander ever had a more 
difficult task to perform in discharging the duties of his 
station ; and this in addition to the labor and responsi- 



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iET.46.] LIFE OF WASHINGTON. 285 



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286 LIFE OP WASHINGTON. [1778. 

independent power. They were to go back to their 
old condition as colonies, be favored with certain privi- 
leges, and, relieved from the burden of self-government, 
to trust their liberties again to the parental guardian- 
ship of the mother country. Till the remembrance 
of the past should be obliterated, these proffers were 
not likely to gain the confidence or change the senti- 
ments of those, who had taken the lead in opposition 
after a thorough knowledge of the causes, and of the 
grounds on which they stood, and who had already 
risked much and labored hard to secure the political 
existence and prosperity of their country, by establish- 
ing them on the firm basis of union and fi*eedom. 

Yet it was feared there were some, who, weary of 
the war, or disheartened at the prospect of its continu- 
ance, might be soothed with the voice of conciliation, 
and thus become cold supporters of the popular cause, 
if not decided advocates for peace on the terms pro- 
posed. To prevent this consequence, as far as the 
weight of his judgment would go, Washington ex- 
pressed his own opinions in very decided language to 
a member of Congress only two days after he learned 
the contents of the conciliatory bills. ** Nothing short 
of independence, it appears to me, can possibly do. A 
peace on other terms would, if I may be allowed the 
expression, be a peace of war. The injuries we have 
received torn the British nation were so unprovoked, 
and have been so great and so many, that they can 
never be forgotten. Besides the feuds, the jealousies, 
the animosities, that would ever attend a union with 
them; besides the importance, the advantages, which 
we should derive from an unrestricted commerce ; our 
fidelity as a people, our gratitude, our character as men, 
are opposed to a coalition with them as subjects, but in 
case of the last extremity. Were we easily to accede 



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iET.46.] LIFE OF WASHINGTON. 287 

to terms of dependence, no nation, upon future occa- 
sions, let the oppressions of Britain be ever so flagrant 
and unjust, would interpose for our relief; or, at most, 
they would do it with a cautious reluctance, and upon 
conditions most probably that would be hard, if not 



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288 LIFE OP WASHINGTON. [1778. 

of a civil nature, he did not think himself authorized 
to give such a passport, without the direction of Con- 
gress, and he forwarded to them the application. Im- 
patient at the delay, or fearing a positive refusal from 
Congress to receive the papers, the commissioners 
immediately sent them through the usual medium of a 



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^T.46.] LIFE OP WASHINGTON. 289 

bemg then unknown, had no influence in producing 
those resolves. The treaties were immediately ratified 
by Congress. 

The army participated in the rejoicings everywhere 
manifested on this occasion. A day was set apart for 
a public celebration in camp. It began in the morning 
with religious services, and a discourse to each of the 
brigades by one of its chaplains. Then foUowed mili- 
tary parades, marchings, and firings of cannon and 
musketry, according to a plan announced in the general 
orders. The appearance was brilliant and the eflfect 
imposing. The whole ceremony was conducted with 
perfect regularity, and was ctosed with an entertain- 
ment, patriotic toasts, music, and other demonstrations 
of joy. 

The British kept possession of Philadelphia through 
the winter and the spring following; and, although 
Washington's camp was within twenty miles of the city, 
yet no enterprise was undertaken to molest him in 
his quarters. Foragmg parties went out and commit- 
ted depredations upon the inhabitants ; but they were 
watched by the Americans, who sometimes met them 
in fierce and bloody rencounters. When it was told 
to Dr. Franklin in Paris, that General Howe had taken 
Philadelphia, he sagaciously replied ; " Say rather, that 
Philadelphia has taken General Howe.'* This predic- 
tion, if such it may be called, was verified m the end. 
The conquest gained at the expense of a campaign, 
and with a considerable loss of men, actually availed 
nothing. Philadelphia^ fortified on the land side and 
guarded by a formidable fleet in the river, afforded to 
the British army a restmg-place for eight months. This 
was the whole fruit of the bloodshed and victory. New 
York would have afforded the same, without the trouble 
of a campsdgn, and at much less cost 

VOL. I. 37 Y 



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290 LIFE OF WASHINGTON. [1778. 

The number of troops for the Continental army, ac- 
cording to the new establishment agreed upon by the 
committee of Congress at Valley Forge, was to be about 
forty thousand, besides artillery and horse. When a 
council of war was called, on the 8th of May, to consid^ 
what measures should be adopted for future operations^ 
it was found, that the army, mcluding the detachments 
on the North River and at other places, did not then 
exceed fifteen thousand men, nor was it supposed 
that it could soon be raised higher than twenty thou- 
sand effective men. The number at Valley Forge was 
eleven thousand eight hundred. The British army in 
New York and Philadelphia, as since ascertained from 
the adjutant's returns, amounted to nearly thirty thou- 
sand, of which number nineteen thousand five hundred 
were m Philadelphia, and ten thousand four hundred 
in New York. There were besides three thousand 
seven hundred at Rhode Island; makmg the whole 
British army in the middle and eastern States upwards 
of thirty-three thousand. 

These numbers are much larger than was imagined 
by the council of war. They estimated the enemy's 
force in Philadelphia at ten thousand, in New York at 
four thousand, and in Rhode Island at two thousand, 
besides cavahy and artillery. Upon this basis the 
question was discussed, whether it was expedient to 
take the field and act on the defensive, or wait till the 
plans of the enemy should become more obvious, and 
then be guided by circumstances. There was great 
unanimity in the decision. To take the city by storm 
was impracticable without a vastly superior force ; and 
equally so to carry it by siege or blockade, strongly 
fortified as it was by nature and artificial works, and by 
vessels of war. Militia might be called out, but it was 
uncertain in what numbers; and, however numerous. 



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iET. 46.] LIFE OF WASHINGTON. 291 

they could not be depended on for such an enterprise. 
In every" view of the subject, therefore, weighty ob- 
jections presented themselves against any scheme of 
offensive operations. 

It was not long before affairs began to put on a new 
aspect From the intelligence communicated by spies, 
and from various indications, it was suspected, diat the 
enemy were preparing to evacuate Philadelphia. Sir 
William Howe, weary of a service in which he found 
himself gradually losmg the confidence of his employers 
and supplying his enemies with weapons to assail his 
reputation, and thmking his honors dearly bought at 
such a price, had asked to be recalled, and his request 
was granted by the King. He was succeeded, in the 
command of his Majesty's forces in America, by Sir 
Henry Clinton, who had been made knight of the order 
of the Bath during the past year. The treaties between 
France and the United States were regarded by the 
court of Great Britain as a declaration of war on the 
part of France, and caused a change in the plans of 
the ministry for conducting the contest in America. It 
was resolved to make a sudden descent upon some 
of the French possessions in the West Indies. To aid 
in executing this project, Sir Henry Clinton was ordered 
to send five thousand men from his army; and also 
three thousand more to Florida; and to withdraw the 
remainder to New York. Another reason for this last 
movement was the probability, that a French fleet would 
soon appear at the mouth of the Delaware, and thus 
blockade the shippmg m that river, and put m jeopardy 
the army, diminished as it would be by the departure 
of the above detachments. 

Sir Henry Clmton first intended to proceed by water 
with his whole army to New York ; but this was found 
impracticable for the want of transports. He therefore 



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292 LIFE OF WASHINGTON. [177a 

shipped his cavalry, part of the German troops, the 
American loyalists, his provision train and heavy bag- 
gage, on board such vessels as were m the river, and 
prepared to march through New Jersey with the main 
body of his army. 

While these preparations were making with as much 
secrecy as possible by the British commander, Wash- 
ington sent out from Valley Forge a detachment of two 
thousand men under the Marquis de Lafayette, the 
object of which was to cover the country between the 
Delaware and Schuylkill, to mterrupt the communica- 
tion with Philadelphia, to obstruct the incursions of the 
enemy's parties, and gam intelligence of their motions 
and designs. Lafayette marched to Barren Hill, and, 
while stationed there, a large part of the British army 
came out by a forced march in the night, with the inten- 
tion of attacking him by surprise, and cutting oflF his 
detachment Owing to the negligence, disobedience, 
or treachery of a picket guard, Lafayette was nearly 
surrounded by the enemy before he was informed of 
their approach ; but by a very skilful mancBuvre, quickly 
conceived and performed in a masteriy manner, he 
gained a ford and drew off his whole detachment across 
the Schuylkill, with the loss of only nine men killed and 
taken. The enemy retreated to Philadelphia. 

To obstruct the progress of the British troops, m case 
they should take the route over land to New York, 
General Maxwell was ordered to cross the Delaware 
with a brigade, and to act in concert with General 
Dickinson, who commanded the New Jersey militia. It 
bemg more and more evident, that Sir Henry Clinton 
was preparing to move by land, the opinion of the 
general oflScers was required, as to the operations in 
consequence of that event The principal point to be 
considered was, whether the army should pursue the 



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Mt.46.] life of WASHINGTON. 293 

British, fell upon their rear, and bring on an engage- 
ment. Opinions were various ; but nearly all the officers 
were opposed to an attack, on account of the superiority 
of the enemy in force and discipline/ General Lee, 
who had been exchanged, and had recently joined the 
army, argued vehemently against such a step. Some 
of the officers agreed with him ; others, who were un- 
willing to advise a general action, thought that the 
enemy should at any rate be harassed m their march, 
and that an engagement, though not to be sought, 
should not be avoided if circumstances rendered it 
e3q)edient. 

The news of the evacuation of Philadelphia, which 
took place in the morning of the 18th of June, was 
received while the subject was still under discussion. 
General Arnold, who had not yet entirely recovered 
from the wound he received at Saratoga^ was ordered 
to march with a small detachment into the city, and to 
retain the command there. General Lee and General 
Wayne, each at the head of a division, took the road 
to Coryell's Ferry, with orders to halt on the first strong 
ground after passing the river. Washington followed, 
and m six days the whole army had crossed the Dela- 
ware, and arrived at HopeweU, five miles from Prmce- 
ton. Detachments in the mean time had been sent to 
impede the enemy's march. Morgan's corps of six 
hundred men was ordered to gain their right flank. 
Maxwell's brigade to hang on their left, and General 
Scott, with fifteen hundred chosen troops, to gall their 
left flank and rear. To these were joined the New 
Jersey militia under General Dickinson, and a party of 
volunteers from Pennsylvania commanded by General 
Cadwalader. 

After the British had crossed the river and landed at 
Gloucester Point, they marched by the way of Had- 



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294 LIFE OP WASHINGTON. [1778. 

donfield and Mount HoDy, and moved on slowly till 
they came to Crosswicks and Allen Town. Bebg en- 
cumbered with a long train of wagons and bat-horses, 
and confined to a smgle road, their line extended 
nearly twelve miles. It was necessary, also, to stop 
and build bridges over every stream and the marshy 
ground, as the bridges had aU been destroyed by the 
Americans. These interruptions retarded their progress. 
Nor was it till he reached Allen Town, that Sir Henry 
Clinton decided what direction he should take fix)m 
that place. It was his first purpose to proceed to the 
Rariton, and embark his troops at Brunswic or South 
Amboy for New York. But, finding Washington almost 
in his front, and deeming it hnprudent to hazard a battle 
while his army was so much encumbered, and on such 
ground as his antagonist might choose, he turned to 
the right, and took the road leading to Monmouth and 
Sandy Hook. 

At this time Washington's army had advanced to 
Kingston. In a council of war, convened at Hopewell, 
the question was again discussed, as to the mode of at- 
tacking the enemy. Sir Henry Clinton's force was sup- 
posed to consist of nine or ten thousand effective men.* 
The Continental troops under Washington amounted 
to a little over twelve thousand ; and there were about 
thirteen hundred militia. General Lee sdll persisted in 
the same sentiments as at first ; and, as he was now next 
in rank to the Commander-in-chie^ and an officer of 

* This was the estimate, but the number must have been consid- 
erably larger. The number of British troops in Philadelphia was up- 
wards of nineteen thousand, making a difference from the estimate of 
more than nine thousand. There were not transports enough in Phila- 
delphia to accommodate this number, nor does Sir Heniy Clinton in his 
despatches mention having sent such a body of troops by water. Nor 
had they gone to the West Indies. The troops for that station sailed 
afterwards from New York. 



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-fiT.46.] LIFE OF WASHINGTON. 295 

long experience, his opinions and arguments had great 
weight in the council He seemed averse to any kind 
of interference with the enemy ; but he acceded to a 
proposal, in which he was joined by five others, that fif- 
teen hundred men should be sent to hang on their rear. 
Six general officers, namely, Greene, Lafayette, Steu- 
ben, Wayne, Duportail, and Paterson, were for sending 
twenty-five hundred men, or at least two thousand, which 
should be followed by the main army at such a distance 
as to afford support, if it should be necessary. It was 
clearly the wish of these officers to draw the enemy into a 
general engagement, if it could be done under favorable 
circumstances. Indeed Greene, Lafayette, and Wayne 
declared their sentiments to this effect in writing. 

Thus embarrassed with the divided opinions of his 
officers, Washington had a delicate part to act. There 
can be no doubt, however, that his own judgment 
strongly inclined him to seek an engagement, from the 
time he left Valley Forge. The reputation of the army, 
and the expectation of the country, in his view required 
it ; and he believed the chances of success at least suf- 
ficient to authorize the attempt. After the council at 
Hopewell, therefore, he asked no further advice, but 
proceeded on his individual responsibility. He imme- 
diately ordered a detachment of one thousand men 
under General Wayne to join the troops already near 
the enemy, and gave to General Lafayette the command 
of all the advanced parties, amounting now to about 
three thousand eight hundred men, including militia. 

In his instructions to Lafayette he said ; " You are 
to use the most effectual means for gaining the enemy's 
left flank, and giving every degree of annoyance. For 
these purposes you will attack them as occasion may 
require by detachment, and, if a proper opening should 
be given, by operating against them with your whole 



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^T.46.] LIFE OF WASHINGTON. 297 

arranged, he encamped in a strong position near Mon- 
mouth Court-House, secured on nearly all sides by 
woods and marshy grounds. This was his situation on 
the morning of the 28th of June. Washington was at 
this time six or seven miles distant, and, receiving 
intelligence at five o'clock, that the enemy's front had 
begun to march, he instantly put the army in motion, 
and sent orders to General Lee by one of his aids 
to move on and commence the attack, "unless there 
should be very powerful reasons to the contrary,'' ac- 
quamting him at the same time, that he should come 
up as soon as possible to his support 

After marching about five miles, he was surprised 
and mortified to learn, that the whole of Lee's division, 
amounting to five thousand men, was by his orders 
retreating, without having made any opposition except 
one fire from a party, which had been charged by the 
enemy's cavalry. The situation was the more critical 
and alarming, as General Lee had given no notice of 
his retreat, but was marching his troops into the face 
of the rear division, thus running the hazard of throwing 
all parts of the army into confusion at the moment when 
the enemy were pressing upon him with unimpeded 
force.* 

♦ Lee had manceuvred near the enemy for some time with the ap- 
parent intention of attacking them. While thus engaged, a party of 
British troops moved towards his right flank, and so placed itself that 
Lafayette thought a fair opportunity offered for cutting it off. He rode 
quickly up to Lee, and asked him if an attack could not be advantageously 
made in that quarter. "Sir," replied Lee, "you do not know British 
soldiers ; we cannot stand against them ; we shall certainly be driven 
back at first, and we must be cautious." Lafayette answered, that it 
might be so, but British soldiers had been beaten, and it was to be pre- 
sumed they might be beaten again, and at any rate he was for making 
the trial. Soon afterwards one of Washington's aids arrived for intel- 
ligence, and, as he was returning, Lafayette desired him to say to the 
General, that his presence at the scene of action was extremely im* 
portant Before this message reached him, the retreat had began. 

VOL. I. 38 



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^T.4ai LIFE OP WASHINGTON. 299 

right and left, while the artillery should gall them in 
front. Before these movements could be effected, night 
came on and put an end to the action. Intendbg to 
renew the contest in the morning, Washington directed 
all the troops to lie upon their arms in the places where 
they happened to be stationed at dark. WrSipped in 
his cloak, he passed the night on the field of batde 
in the midst of his soldiers. But, when the morning 
dawned, no enemy was to be seen. Sir Henry Clinton 
had silently withdrawn his troops during the night, 
and followed his baggage train on the road leading to 
Middletown. As he would have gained commanding 
ground, where he might choose his own position, be- 
fore he could be overtaken, and as the troops had suf- 
fered exceedingly from the intense heat of tfie weatha: 
and fatigue, it was not thought expedient to continue 
the pursuit. 

This battle, though it can hardly be said to have 
resulted in a victory, was nevertheless honorable to the 
American arms, and, after the inauspicious retreat of the 
first division, was fought with skill and bravery. It 
was probably in all respects as successful as Washing- 
ton had hoped. Congress passed a unanimous vote of 
thanks to the Commander and the army. 

Four British officers and two hundred and forty-five 
privates were left dead on the field, and were buried 
by the Americans. It appeared that others were like- 
wise buried by the enemy, making the whole number 
of killed neariy three hundred. The American loss was 
sixty-nine killed. Several soldiers on both sides are 
said to have died in consequence of the extreme heat 
of the day, and it is probable that the number of Amer- 
icans reported as killed does not include all that died 
from this cause. 

But the loss of Sir Henry Clinton in battle made but 



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300 LIFE OF WASHINGTON. [1778. 

a small part of the diminution of his army while march- 
ing through Jersey. One hundred were taken pris- 
oners, and more than six hundred deserters arrived 
in Philadelphia within three weeks from the time he 
left it, bemg drawn thither chiefly by the attachments 
they had formed during eight months' residence in the 
city. Others also escaped into the country while on 
the march; so that the army, when it reached New 
York, had suffered a reduction of at least twelve hun- 
dred men. 

After the action. Sir Henry Clmton proceeded to 
Sandy Hook, where Lord Howe's fleet, having come 
round from the Delaware, was in readiness to convey 
the troops to New York. Washington marched to 
Hudson's River, crossed at King's Ferry, and encamp- 
ed near White Plains. 

The pride of General Lee was wounded by the 
language, which Washington used when he met him 
retreating. The day after the action, Lee wrote a letter 
to Washington, containing expressions, which no oflScer 
could with propriety address to his superior. This was 
answered in a tone, that rather tended to increase 
than soothe his irritation, and he replied in terms still 
more offensive. In a subsequent note, written the same 
day, he requested that his case might be referred to a 
court-martiaL He was accordingly put in arrest, under 
three charges; first, disobedience of orders m not at- 
tacking the enemy, agreeably to repeated mstructions ; 
secondly, misbehaviour before the enemy in making 
an unnecessary, disorderly, and shameful retreat ; third- 
ly, disrespect to the Commander-in-chief in two letters 
written after the action. A court-martial was sum- 
moned, which sat from time to time for three weeks 
while the army was on its march ; and finally declared 
their opinion, that General Lee was guilty of all the 



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^T.46.1 LIFE OF WASHINGTON. 301 

charges, and sentenced him to be suspended from all 
command in the army of the United States for the term 
of twelve months. In the written opinion of the comt, 
the second charge was modified by omittmg the word 
" shameful '* ; but in all other respects the charges were 
allowed to be sustained by the testimony. Congress 
approved the sentence. General Lee left the army, 
and never jomed it agam. He died four years after- 
wards in Philadelphia. 

Before the army crossed the Hudson, General Wash- 
ington heard of the arrival of Count d'Estaing on the 
coast with a French fleet, consistmg of twelve ships of 
the line and four frigates. The admiral touched at the 
Capes of the Delaware, where he was informed of the 
evacuation of Philadelphia, and, after despatching up 
the river one of his fngates, on board of which was 
M. Gerard, the first minister fix>m France to the United 
States, he sailed for Sandy Hook. No time was lost 
by General Washington in sending him a letter of con- 
gratulation, and proposmg to cooperate with him in 
carrying any plans into execution, which might be con- 
certed for attacking the enemy. Colonel Laurens, one 
of his aids-de-camp, was the bearer of this letter, to 
whom the Count was referred for such information as 
he might wish to obUun. When it was known that 
the fleet had arrived at the Hook, Colonel Hamilton, 
another confidential aid, was sent on board accompanied 
by four skilful pilots, and mstructed to explain the 
General^s views fully to Count d'Esfcung. 

If it should be found practicable for the French ves- 
sels to pass the bar, and engage the British fleet then 
at anchor within the Hook, it was supposed a simul- 
taneous attack on the land side might be made to 
advantage ; and indeed not without a prospect of very 
fortunate results, if the French should be able by a 

VOL. I. Z 



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802 LIFE OP WASHINGTON. [1778. 

naval victory to enter the harbour and ascend to the 
city. These hopes virere soon dissipated by the unani- 
mous opinion of the pilots, that there w^ not sufficient 
depth of water to admit Count d'Estaing's heavy ships 
over the bar, and by their refusal to take the respon- 
sibility of attempting to conduct them through the 



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^T.46.] LIFE OP WASHINGTON. 303 

to Lafayette, who had communicated the particulars, 
he lamented it as a misfortune, which might end in a 
serious injury to the public mterest ; and he endeavoured 
to assuage the rising animosity of the parties by coun- 
sels equally creditable to his feelings as a man and to 
his patriotism* 



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304 LIFE OF WASHINGTON. [177a 

your services, and admires the principles upon which 
you act Your countrymen in our army look up to you 
as their patron. The Count and his officers consider 
you as a man high in rank, and high in estimation here 
and also in France ; and I, your friend, have no doubt 



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Mt.46,] life of WASHINGTON. 305 

thirty miles from West Point near the borders of Con- 
necticut, and sent forward a division under General 
Grates to Danbury. The roads were repaired as far 
as Hartford, to facilitate the march of the troops, and 
three brigades were despatched to that place. General 
Gates went to Boston, and took command of the eastern 
department, as successor to General Heath. These op- 
erations kept the army employed on the east side of 
the Hudson more than four months, till it was finally 
ascertained that the enemy had no designs in that 
direction. 

Sir Henry Clinton took care to profit by this diversion 
of the American army. Foragmg parties passed over 
to New Jersey, and ravaged the country. One of 
these parties attacked Baylor's dragoons in the night, 
at a short distance from Tappan, rushing upon them 
with the bayonet and committing indiscriminate slaugh- 
ter. A similar assault was made upon Pulaski's legion 
at Egg Harbour. Both these adventures were attended 
with such acts of cruelty on the part of the enemy, as 
are seldom practised in civilized warfare. And they 
were not less impolitic than cruel, being regarded with 
universal indignation and horror by the people, and ex- 
citing a spirit of hatred and revenge, which would neces- 
sarily react in one form or another upon their foes. In 
fact this point of policy was strangely misunderstood 
by the British, or more strangely perverted, at every 
stage of the contest. They had many friends in the 
country, whom it was their interest to retain, and they 
professed a desire to conciliate others ; yet they burned 
and destroyed towns, villages, and detached farm- 
houses, plundered the inhabitants without distinction, 
and brought down the savages with the tomahawk and 
scalping-knife upon the defenceless frontier settlements, 
marking their course in every direction with murder, 

VOL. I. 39 z* 



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306 LIFE OF WASHINGTON. [1778. 

desolation, and ruin. Tlie ministry approved and en- 
couraged these atrocities, flattering themselves that the 
people would sink under their sufferings, bewail their 
unhappy condition, become tired of the war, and compel 
their leaders to seek an accommodation. The effect 
was directly the contrary in every instance. The peo- 
ple knew their rights, and had the common feelings 
of humanity ; and, when the former were wantonly in- 
vaded and the latter outraged, it was natural that 
their passions should be inflamed, and that they who 
were at first pacifically inclined should be roused to 
resistance and retaliation. If the British cabinet had 
aimed to defeat its own objects, and to consolidate the 
American people into a united phalanx of opposition, 
it could not have chosen or pursued more effectual 
methods. 

The campaign being closed. General Washington 
prepared to put the army into winter-quarters. Nine 
brigades were stationed on the west side of Hudson's 
River, exclusive of the garrison at West Point. One 
of these was near Smith's Clove, where it could serve 
as a reinforcement to West Point, should this be neces- 
sary ; one at Elizabethtown ; and the other seven at 
Middlebrook, which place was likewise selected for 
head-quarters. Six brigades were cantoned on the 
east side of the Hudson and at West Point, as fol- 
lows ; one at West Point, two at the Cc«itinental Vil- 
lage, a post between Fishkill and West Point, and three 
in the vicinity of Danbury m Connecticut. The artil- 
lery was at Pluckemin. A line of cantonments was 
thus formed around New York fi-om Long Island Sound 
to the Delaware, so disposed as to afford security to 
the country, and to reinforce each other in case of an 
excursion of the enemy to any particular point The 
other important objects mtended by this disposition 



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308 LIFE OF WASHINGTON. [1778. 



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iET.46.] LIFE OP WASHINGTON. 309 

tively feeble in counsels and resource. For the year 
past, the number of delegates present had seldom aver- 
aged over thirty, and sometimes it was under twenty- 
five. Whole States were fi^uently unrepresented; 
and mdeed it was seldom, that every State was so fully 
represented as to entide it to a vote. And at no time 
were private jealousies and party feuds more rife or 
mischievous in their effects. These symptoms were 
alarming to every true fiiend of his country, who re- 
flected on their tendency, and they filled the mmd of 
Washington with deep concern. To those, in whom 
he had confidence, he laid open his fears, and endeav- 
oured to awaken a sense of the public danger. His 
sentiments and his apprehensions are forcibly express- 
ed in a letter to Mr. Benjamin Harrison of Virginia. 

"It appears as clear to me,** he said, "as ever the sun 
did m its meridian brightness, that America never stood 
in more eminent need of the wise, patriotic, and spirited 
exertions of her sons than at this period ; and, if it is 
not a sufficient cause for general lamentation, my mis- 
conception of the matter impresses it too strongly upon 
me, that the States, separately, are too much engaged 
m their local concerns, and have too many of their 
ablest men withdrawn from the general council, for the 
good of the common weaL In a word, I think our 
political system may be compared to the mechanism 
of a clock, and that we should derive a lesson from it ; 
for it answers no good purpose to keep the smaller 
wheels in order, if the greater one, which is the support 
and prime mover of the whole, is neglected. 

" How far the latter is the case, it does not become 
me to pronounce ; but, as there can be no harm in a 
pious wish for the good of one's country, I shall oflTer 
it as mine, that each State would not oidy choose, but 
absolutely compel their ablest men to attend Congress ; 



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310 LIFE OF WASHINGTON. [1778. 

and that they would mstnict them to go mto a thorough 
investigation of the causes that have produced so many 
disagreeable effects in the army and country; in a 
word, that public abuses should be corrected. Without 
this, it does not in my judgment require the spirit of 
divination to foretell the consequences of the present 
administration; nor to how little purpose the States 
individually are framing constitutions, providing laws, 
and filling offices with the abilities of their ablest men. 
These, if the great whole is mismanaged, must sink in 
the general wreck, which will carry with it the remorse 
of thinking that we are lost by our own folly and 
negligence, or by the desire perhaps of living in ease 
and tranquillity during the expected accomplishment 
of so great a revolution, in the effecting of which the 
greatest abilities, and the most honest men, our American 
world affords, ought to be employed. 

"It is much to be feared, my dear Sir, that the 
States, in their separate capacities, have very inadequate 
ideas of the present danger. Many persons, removed 
far distant from the scene of action, and seemg and 
hearing such publications only, as flatter their wishes, 
conceive that the contest is at an end, and that to regu- 
late the government and police of their own State is all 
that remains to be done ; but it is devoutly to be wish- 
ed, that a sad reverse of this may not fall upon them 
like a thunder-clap, that is little expected. I do not 
mean to designate particular States. I wish to cast no 
reflections upon any one. The public believe (and, if 
they do believe it, the fact might almost as well be so), 
that the States at this time are badly represented, and 
that the great and important concerns of the nation are 
horribly conducted, for want either of abilities or ap- 
plication in the members, or through the discord and 
party views of some individuals. That they shouW be 



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Mt.46.] life of WASHINGTON. 311 

SO, is to be lamented more at this time than formerly, 
as we are far advanced in the dispute, and, in the opin- 
ion of many, drawing to a happy period ; we have the 
eyes of Europe upon us, and I am persuaded many 
political spies to watch, who discover our situation and 
give information of our weaknesses and wants." 

The conquest of Canada was always a favorite pro- 
ject with Congress ; and at this time, when the British 
forces were divided by being employed against the 
French in the West Indies, it was thought that a good 
opportunity offered itself for turning the arms of the 
United States agamst that province. After the termina- 
tion of the affair at Long Island, the Marquis de Lafay- 
ette went to Philadelphia, and obtained a furlough from 
Congress, with the intention of returning to France on 
a short visit In concert with him a plan was formed 
of an attack on Canada, which was to be the principal 
object of the ensuing campaign, and the basis of which 
was a cooperation with a French fleet and army. La- 
fayette was to have full instructions for arrangmg the 
matter with the court of Versailles, aided by the coun- 
sel and support of Dr. Franklin, then the American 
plenipotentiary in France. 

The plan was on a ver)' large scale. Attacks were 
to be made by the American army at three points far 
distant from each other, namely, Detroit, Niagara, and 
by way of the Connecticut River ; while a French fleet 
should ascend the St. Lawrence, with four or five 
thousand troops, and act against Quebec. The scheme 
was discussed, matured, and approved with much una- 
nimity in Congress, and then sent to Washington with 
the request that he would communicate his sentiments. 
He replied in a long despatch, entering minutely into 
the subject, and showing that the plan was impractica- 
ble; that it required resources m troops and money. 



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312 LIFE OP WASHINGTON. [1778. 

which were not to be had ; that it would involve Con- 
gress in engagements to their ally, which it would be 
impossible to fulfil ; and that it was in itself so extensive 



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iET.4a] LIFE OF WASHINGTON. 313 

be apprehended, have it m her power to give law to 
these States/' 

These sentiments, he said, did not ctow out of anv 



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314 LIFE OP WASHINGTON. [1778. 

should accordmgly be made. They requested General 
Washington to write to Dr. Franklin, and the Marquis 
de Lafayette, who was then at Boston, ready to depart 
for Europe, and state to them such details as might 
be laid before the French court, m order that event- 
ual measures might be taken for cooperation in case 



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«T.46.] LIFE OP WASHINGTON. 315 

the war, till the mdependence of the United States 
should be secured; but she had not engaged to fight 
for conquests, nor for the extension of the territories of 



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316 LIFE OP WASHINGTON. [1779. 



CHAPTER XII. 



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Mr.46.] LIFE OP WASHINGTON. 317 

most beneficial in its ultimate effects. It would afford 
an opportunity to retrench the heavy charges of the 
war, and to pursue a system of economy unperiously 
demanded by the financial embarrassments in which 
Congress had become involved, and thus enable them 
to do something for the relief of public credit, and for 
restoring the value of the currency, which was fast sink- 
ing into disrepute, imsettling prices, and threatening 
ruin to almost every branch of industry. It would also 
give repose to the coimtry, and, by leaving a larger 
number of laborers to cultivate the soil, contribute to 
increase the supplies so much wanted for the comfort 
of the people, as well as (ov the subsistence of the 
army. 

This plan had its disadvantages. The inactivity in 
military operations might be thought to imply weakness, 
and thus injure the credit of the nation with foreign 
powers, dispirit the people at home, give confidence to 
the disaffected, and afford leisure for the factious and 
discontented to foment divisions. These inconven- 
iences were, nevertheless, in the opinion of General 
Washington, more than balanced by other considera- 
tions ; and he recommended the defensive system, pre- 
ferring what he deemed the greatest public good to the 
glory that might be acquired by large military enter- 
prises, even with a fair prosj)ect of success. After the 
alliance with France, and especially after the indications 
given by Spam of an approaching war between that 
power and England, he had no doubt that the inde- 
pendence of the United States wouW be secured at the 
peace, whenever it should happen. It was evident, 
moreover, that England, being thus employed by her 
European foes, could not enlarge her army to a formi- 
dable extent in America. In his view, therefore, it was 
not expedient to exhaust the country and multiply the 



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318 LIFE OP WASHINGTON. [1779. 

calamities of war by extraordmary exactions for military 
undertakings, which, although they might annoy the 
enemy and perhaps drive them fh)m one post to an- 
other, could not hasten the desired end, depending as 
it now did mainly on events beyond the control of the 
United States, By an ambitious chieftain, aiming only 
to aggrandize himself and establish his power, the sub- 
ject might have been regarded in a different light; but 
the designs and actions of Washington centred in no- 
bler objects, the freedom, tranquillity, and happiness of 
his country, in which he was to participate equally with 
every other citizen, neither seeking nor expecting any 
other preeminence than that of having been an instru- 
ment in the hand of Providence for effecting so great a 
good in so just a cause, nor any other reward than the 
consciousness of having done his duty, and the enjoy- 
ment in common with his countrymen of the benefits 
flowing from his services. 

Having completed all the necessary arrangements 
with Congress, he returned to head-quarters at Mid- 
dlebrook. The mfantry of the Continental army was 
organized for the campaign in eighty-eight battalions, 
apportioned to the several States according to the ratio 
hitherto assumed. There were four regunents of cav- 
ah-y and forty-nine companies of artillery. 

As the term of service, for which a large number of 
the troops had been engaged, would expire in a few 
weeks, the business of recruiting was begun without 
delay. The irreg\ilar, and in some cases enormous, 
bounties given by the States had operated in such a 
manner, as almost to defeat any attempt to enlist soldiers 
in camp. Even those, who intended to reenlist, were 
lured away by the prospect of State bounties, and were 
thus absent firom the army till they could go home and 
come back with the new recruits. This evil was 



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iET.46.] LIFE OP WASHINGTON. 319 



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320 LIFE OP WASHINGTON. [1770. 

mamed withm their lines at New York, showiag no 
disposition for hazardous adventures, and apparendy 
making no preparation for any enterprise of magnitude 
mto the country. 

General Washington m the mean time turned his 
thoughts to the fitting out of an expedition against the 
Indians. The confederated Indians of the Six Nations, 
except the Oneidas and a few of the Mohawks, in- 
fluenced by Sir John Johnson and British agents from 
Canada, became hostile to the United States, although 
at first they pretended to a sort of neutrality. Jomed 
by a band of Tories, and persons of abandoned prin- 
ciples collected from various parts, they fell upon the 
fh)ntier setdements, and waged the most cruel and de- 
structive war against the defenceless and unoffending 
inhabitants. The massacres at Cherry Valley and Wy- 
oming had filled every breast with horror, and hu- 
manity cried aloud for vengeance on the perpetrators 
of such deeds of atrocity. To break up these hordes 
of banditti, or at all events to drive them back and lay 
waste their territories, was the object of the expedition. 

Four thousand Continental troops were detached for 
the purpose, who were joined by militia from the State 
of New York and mdependent companies from Penn- 
sylvania. The command of the whole was given to 
General Sullivan. Three thousand men rendezvoused 
at Wyoming, where General Sullivan first established 
his head-quarters, and from which place he proceeded 
up the Susquehanna River into the Indian country. 
At the same time Greneral James Clinton advanced 
with another division fix)m the Mohawk River, by way 
of Otsego Lake and the east branch of the Susque- 
hanna, and formed a junction with Sullivan near the 
fork, where the two main branches of the river unite. 
The army, then amounting to about five thousand men 



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iET.47.] LIFE OP WASHINGTON. 321 

including militia, marched into the wilderness towards 
the Indian setdements. It was met and opposed by a 
body of Tories and Indians, who were soon routed 
and driven back. There was no other encounter, ex- 
cept slight skirmishes with small parties. Sullivan pur- 
sued a circuitous route as far as the Genesee River, 
destroymg all the villages, houses, com, and provisions, 
which fell in his way. Every habitation was deserted, 
the Indians having retired with their families to the 
neighbourhood of Niagara, where they were protected 
and supplied by a British garrison. The purpose of the 
expedition bemg attained, the army retraced its steps 
down the Susquehanna to Wyoming, and arrived there 
after an absence of a little more than two months. 

Sir Henry Clinton early in the spring sent a detach- 
ment of two thousand five hundred men to Virginia, 
commanded by Greneral Mathews. They landed at 
Portsmouth, sacked the town, marched to Suffolk, de- 
stroyed a magazine of provisions m that place, burnt 
the village and several detached private houses, and 
seized large quantities of tobacco. Many vessels were 
likewise captured, others were burnt and sunk, and 
much plunder was taken. With this booty they re- 
turned to New York. The enterprise was executed 
in conformity with orders fi-om the ministry, who, after 
the ill success of their commissioners, had adopted the 
policy of a predatory warfare on the seacoast, with the 
design of destroying the towns, ships, and magazmes, 
conceiving, as expMressed by Lord Greorge Germain, 
"that a war of this sort, carried on with spirit and 
humanity, would probably mduce the rebellious prov- 
inces to return to their allegiance, or at least prevent 
' their sending out that swarm of privateers, the success 
of which had encouraged them to persevere in their 
revolt.'* 

VOL. I. 41 



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822 LIFE OF WASHINGTON. [1779. 

When the squadron returned fix)m Virginia, it was 
immediately joined by other vessels having on board a 
large body of troops, all of which sailed up Hudson's 
River. This expedition was conducted by Sir Henry 
Clinton m person, and his first object was to take the 
posts at Stony Point and Verplanck's Point, situate on 
opposite sides of the Hudson, where the Americans 
had thrown up works to protect Kmg's Ferry, the main 
channel of communication between the eastern and 
middle States. Should circumstances favor so bold an 
experiment, he intended next to endeavour to force his 
way into the Highlands, make himself master of the 
fortifications and strong passes, and thus secure the 
command of the Hudson. 

Being informed of the preparations in New York, 
and penetrating the designs of the British commander, 
Washington was at hand in time to prevent the exe- 
cution of the second part of the scheme. By rapid 
marches he drew his troops fi-om their cantonments in 
New Jersey, and placed them in such positions as to 
discourage Sir Henry Clinton fi-om attempting any thing 
further, than the capture of the two posts above men- 
tioned, which were m no condition to resist a formi- 
dable fleet and an army of more than six thousand 
men. After this event, which happened on the 1st of 
June, Clinton withdrew his forces down the river, and 
at length to New York, leaving a strong garrison at 
each of the posts, with orders to extend and complete 
the works begun by the Americans ; and also directing 
such a number of armed vessels and boats to remain 
there, as would be necessary to furnish supplies and 
contribute to their defence. 

General Washington removed his head-quarters to 
New Windsor, a few miles above West Pomt, distribut- 
ing his army chiefly in and near the Highlands, but 



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iET.47.] LIFE OF WASHINGTON. 323 

stationmg a force on each side of the river below, suf- 
ficient to check any sudden incursion of the enemy. 

The system of devastation and plunder was vigor- 
ously pursued. About the beginnmg of July a detach- 
ment of two thousand six hundred men, under Governor 
Tryon, sailed from New York into Long Island Sound. 
They first landed at New Haven, plundered the in- 
habitants indiscriminately, and burnt the stores on the 
wharfs. This being done, they embarked, and landed 
at Fairfield and Norwalk, which towns were reduced 
to ashes. Dwelling-houses, shops, churches, school- 
houses, and the shippmg in the harbours, were de- 
stroyed. The soldiers pillaged without restraint, com- 
mitting acts of violence, and exhibiting the horrors of 
war m some of their most revolting forms. It does not 
appear that there were troops, magazines, or public 
property in either of the towns. The waste and dis- 
tress fell on individuals, who were pursuing the ordinary 
occupations of life. The people rallied m self-defence, 
and a few were killed ; but the enemy retired to their 
vessels before the militia could assemble in large num- 
bers. 

The British commander hoped that this invasion of 
Connecticut would draw away the American army fit)m 
the Highlands to a position where he might bring on 
an engagement under favorable circumstances. Wash- 
ington's habitual caution guarded him agamst allowing 
such an advantage. On the contrary, while the ene- 
my's forces were thus divided, he resolved to attack 
the strong post at Stony Point. "The necessity of 
doing somethmg to satisfy the expectations of the peo- 
ple and reconcile them to the defensive plan, which he 
was obliged to pursue, the value of the acquisition in 
itself with respect to the men, artillery, and stents, 
which composed the garrison, the effect it would have 



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324 LIFE OF WASHINGTON. . [1779. 

upon the successive operations of the campaign, and 
the check it would give to the depredations of the 
enemy," were, as he said, the motives which prompted 
him to this undertaking. He reconnoitred the post 
himself^ and instructed Major Henry Lee, who was sta^ 
tioned near it with a party of cavaby, to gain all the 
information in his power as to the condition of the 
works and the strength of the garrison. 

The enterprise was intrusted to General Wayne, 
who commanded a body of light mfantry in advance 
of the main army, where he was placed to watch the 
movements of the enemy, to prevent their landing, and 
to attack separate parties whenever opportunities should 
offer. Having procured all the requisite information, 
and determined to make the assault, Washmgton com- 
municated general instructions to Wayne in writing and 
conversation, leaving the rest to the well-tried bravery 
and skill of that gallant officer. 

The night of the 15th July was fixed on for the 
attack. After a march of fourteen miles during the 
sdlemoon, the party arrived within a mile and a half of 
the enemy at eight o'clock in the evening. The works 
were then reconnoitred by the commander and the 
principal officers, and at half past eleven the whole 
moved forward in two columns to the assault The van 
of the right column consisted of one hundred and fifty 
volunteers with unloaded muskets and fixed bayonets, 
preceded by twenty picked men to remove the abatis 
and other obstructions. One hundred volunteers, pre- 
ceded likewise by twenty men, composed the van of the 
left Positive orders were given not to fire, but to 
rely wholly on the bayonet, which orders were faithfully 
obeyed. A deep morass in fix)nt of the enemy's works, 
and a double row of abatiSj retarded their progress; 
but these obstacles were soon overcome by the ardor of 



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iET.47.] LIFE OF WASHINGTON. 325 

the troops, and the assault began about twenty ixunutes 
after twelve. From that time they pushed forward in 
the face of a tremendous fire of musketry and of can- 
non loaded with grape-shot, and both columns met in 
the centre of the enemy's works, each arriving nearly 
at the same instant General Wayne, who advanced 
with the right column, received a slight wound in the 
head, and was supported into the works by his aids- 
de-camp. 

The assault was successful in all its parts. The 
number of prisoners was five hundred and forty-three, 
and the number killed on the side of the enemy was 
sixty-three. Of the assailing party fifteen were killed, 
and eighty-three wounded. Several cannons and mor- 
tars of various sizes, a large number of muskets, shells, 
shot, and tents, and a proportional . quantity of stores, 
were taken. The action is allowed to have been one 
of the most brilliant of the revolution. Congress pass- 
ed resolves complijuentary to the officers and privates, 
granting specific rewarde, and directmg the value of aU 
the military stores taken in the garrison to be divided 
among the troops in proportion to the pay of the officers 
and men. Three diflFerent medals were ordered to be 
struck, emblematical of the action, and awarded respec- 
tively to General Wayne, Colonel Fleury, and Colonel 
Stewart Congress also passed a vote of thanks to 
General Washington "for the vigilance, wisdom, and 
magnanimity, with which he had conducted the military 
operations of the States,'' and especially as manifested 
in his orders for the late attack. 

It was his first intention, if the storming of Stony' 
Point should prove successful, to make an iipmediate at- 
tempt agahist Verplanck's Pdnt, on the opposite side of 
the river. For this purpose he had requested GenenJ 
Wayne to forward the intelligence to head-quarters 

VOL.. I. BB 



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iET.47.] LIFE OP WASHINGTON. 327 

and fifty-nine prisoners, having two only of his party 
killed and three wounded. The plan originated with 
Major Lee, and great praise was bestowed upon him 
for the address and bravery with which it was executed. 
A medal of gold, commemorative of the event, was or- 
dered by Congress to be struck and presented to him. 

No other events of much importance happened in the 
army under Washington's immediate command during 
the campaign. The British troops remabed inactive at 
New York, and the Americans held their ground in the 
Highlands. In the course of this year the works at West 
Point and in its vicinity were chiefly constructed. A 
part of the time two thousand five hundred men were 
on fatigue duty every day. Before the end of July the 
head-quarters of the Commander-in-chief were removed 
to West Point, where he continued for the rest of the 
season. 

As few incidents of a personal nature intervene to 
vary the monotony of military operations, and of the 
great public affairs which occupied the thoughts of 
Washington, it may not be amiss to insert here a letter 
inviting a friend to dine with him at head-quarters. It 
gives an idea of the manner in which he lived, and 
shows that he could sometimes be playful, even when 
oppressed with public cares, and in the midst of the 
harassing duties of his command. The letter is ad- 
dressed to Dr, Cochran, surgeon-general in the army, 
and dated at West Pomt on the 16th of August 
"Dear Doctor, 

"I have asked Mrs. Cochran and Mrs. Livingston to 
dine with me to-morrow ; but am I not in honor bound 
to apprize them of their fare? As I hate deception, 
even where the imagination only is concerned, I will 
It is needless to premise, that my table b large enough 
to hold the ladies. Of this they had ocular proof yes- 



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328 LIFE OP WASHINGTON. [1779. 

terday. To say how it is usuaUy covered, is rather 
more essential; and this shall be the purport of my 
letter. 

" Smce our arrival at this happy spot, we have had a 
ham, sometimes a shoulder of bacon, to grace the head 
of the table ; a piece of roast beef adorns the fi30t ; and 
a dish of beans, or greens, almost imperceptible, deco- 
rates the centre. When the cook has a mind to cut 
a figure, which I presume will be the case to-morrow, 
we have two beef-steak pies, or dishes of crabs, in 
addition, one on each side of the centre-dish, dividing 
the space and reducing the distance between dish and 
dish to about six feet, which without them would be 
near twelve feet apart. Of late he has had the sur- 
prising sagacity to discover, that apples will make pies ; 
and it is a question, i^ in the violence of his efibrts, we 
do not get one of apples, instead of having both of 
beef-steaks. If the ladies can put up with such en- 
tertahmient, and will submit to partake of it on plates, 
once tin but now iron (not become so by the labor of 
scouring), I shall be happy to see them ; and am, dear 
Doctor, yours.'' 

Sir Henry Clmton, disappointed in not receiving ad- 
ditions to his army from Europe, began to be weary of 
his situation, and to despair of effecting any thing that 
would either redound to the glory of the British arms, 
or answer the expectations of his emjJoyers. On the 
21st of August he said, in a letter to Lord George 
Germain, "I now find myself obliged by many cogent 
reasons to abandon every view of making an effort in 
this quarter. The precautions, which General Wash- 
ington has had leisure to take, make me hopeless of 
bringing him to a general action, and the season dis- 
suades me strongly from losing time m the attempt** 
He informs the minister, that his thoughts are turned to 



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iET.47.] LIFE OF WASHINGTON. 329 



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330 LIFE OF WASHINGTON. [1779. 

powers of his mind, his moderation, his patriotism, and 
his virtues, as I had before from common report conceiv- 
ed of his military talents and of the incalculable services 
he has rendered to his country/' The same sentiments 
were often repeated by the successor of M. Gerard, 
and contributed to establish the unbounded confidence, 
which the French government placed in the American 
commander during the war. 

Although the plans of cooperation failed, yet they 
were serviceable in embarrassing the schemes of the 
enemy. As soon as it was known that Count d'Estaing 
had arrived in Georgia, Sir Henry Clinton naturally 
supposed that he would proceed northward, and unite 
with Washington in a combined attack on New York. 
Alarmed for his safety in such an event, he caused 
Rhode Island to be evacuated, and drew to New York 
the garrison, which had been stationed nearly three 
years at that place, consisting at times of about six 
thousand men. Stony Point and Verplanck's Point 
were likewise evacuated. The appearance of Count 
d'Estaing's fleet on the coast retarded Sir Henry Clin- 
ton's southern expedition till near the end of December, 
when, having received remforcements from Europe, he 
embarked about seven thousand troops, and sailed for 
South Carolina under the convoy of Admiral Arbuthnot 

The campaign being now at an end, the army was 
again put into winter-quarters, the main body in the 
neighbourhood of Morristown, strong detachments at 
West Point and other posts near the Hudson, and the 
cavafry in Connecticut The head-quarters were at 
Morristown. The ill success of the allied arms at Sa- 
vannah, and the indications of Sir Henry Clinton's de- 
signs against South Carolina, were reasons for sending 
more troops to General Lincoln's army; and before 
the middle of December two of the North Carolina 



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iET. 48.] LIFE OF WASHINGTON. 331 

regiments and the whole of the Virginia line marched 
to the south. 

The winter set in with so much severity, that the 
channels of transportation were closed, and the troops 
were reduced to the greatest distress for the want of 
provisions. In this extremity, it was necessary to levy 
supplies upon the inhabitants, and send out officers to 
collect them. By their instructions, these officers were 
first to call on the magistrates, and solicit their aid in 
procuring provisions of grain and cattle, and in appor- 
tioning to each person such a quantity as he could spare 
without injury to his family. Certificates were then to 
be given, specifying the quantity, leaving it optional with 
the owner to fix the price by a fair valuation on the 
spot, or to receive the market price at the time the cer- 
tificates should be paid. If this plan proved unsuccess- 
ful, the officers were to proceed accordmg to the usual 
method of military impressments. There was no occa- 
sion, however, for this latter measure. By the zeal and 
activity of the magistrates, cooperating with the good 
disposition of the inhabitants, a sufficient quantity of 
voluntary supplies was soon brought to the camp. 

A descent upon Staten Island by a party under Lord 
Stirling, a retaliatory incursion of the enemy into New 
Jersey at Elizabethtown, and a skirmish near White 
Plains, were the only military events during the winter. 

The army for the campaign m 1780 was nominally 
fixed by Congress at thirty-five thousand two hundred 
and eleven men. Each State was required to furnish 
its quota by the first day of April. No definite plan 
was adopted for the campaign, as the operations must 
depend on circumstances and the strength and condi- 
tion of the enemy. 

One of the greatest evils which now afflicted the 
country, and which threatened the most alarming con- 



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332 LIFE OF WASHINGTON. [1780. 

sequences, was the depreciation of the currency. Des- 
titute of pecuniary resources, and without the power 
of imposing direct taxes, Congress had, early in the 
war, resorted to the expedient of paper money. For 
a time, while the quantity was comparatively small, its 
credit was good; but in March, 1780, the enormous 
amount of two hundred millions of dollars had been 
issued, no part of which had been redeemed. At this 
time forty paper dollars were worth only one in specie. 
Prices rose as the money sank in value, and every 
branch of trade was unsettled and deranged. The 
effect was peculiarly oppressive on the troops, and was 
a principal reason for the exorbitant bounties allowed 
to them in the latter years of the war. The separate 
States likewise issued paper money, which increased 
the evil, without affordmg any adequate relief. The 
only remedy was taxation ; but this was seldom pursued 
with vigor, owing, in part, to the distracted state of the 
times and the exhausted condition of the country, and 
in part also to State jealousy. As each State felt its 
burdens to be heavy, it was cautious how it added to 
them in a greater proportion than its neighbours ; and 
thus all were reluctant to act, till impelled by the 
pressure of necessity. 

So low had the credit of the currency fallen, that 
the commissaries found it extremely difficult, and in 
some cases impossible, to purchase supplies for the 
army. Congress adopted a new method, by requiring 
each State to furnish a certain quantity of beef, pork, 
flour, com, forage, and other articles, which were to 
be deposited in such places as the Commander-in- 
chief should determine. The States were to be credit- 
ed for the amount at a fixed valuation in specie. The 
system turned out to be impracticable. The multitude 
of hands into which the business was thrown, the 



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iET.48.] LIFE OP WASHINGTON. 333 

want of proper authority to compel its prompt exe- 
cution, the distance of several of the States fipom the 
army, and the consequent difficulties of transportation, 
all conspired to make it the most expensive, the most 
uncertain, and the least effectual method that could be 
devised. It added gready to the embarrassments of 



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334 LIFE OF \v /.SHINGTON. [1780. 

At the beginning of April, when the States were to 
have completed their quotas of troops, the whole num- 
ber under Washington's immediate command was no 
more than ten thousand four hundred rank and file. 
This number was soon diminished by sendmg the re- 
mainder of the Maryland line and the Delaware regi- 
ment to the southern army. The British force at New 
York amounted to seventeen thousand three hundred 
effective men. From that time the army of the north 
consisted of such troops only as were raised in the New 
England States, New York, New Jersey, and Penn- 
sylvania. To hasten and give effect to the arrange- 
ments for the campaign, and draw more expeditious- 
ly from the States their quotas of soldiers and supplies. 
General Washington requested a committee of Con- 
gress to attend the army, with power to act in the 
name of that body for definite objects. The committee 
remamed in camp between two and three months. 
General Schuyler, then a member of Congress, was one 
of the committee, and his experience, sound judgment, 
and energetic character, enabled him to render essen- 
tial services in that capacity. 

Before the end of April, the Marquis de Lafayette 
arrived at Boston from France, with the cheering intel- 
ligence that the French government had fitted out an 
armament of naval and land forces, which might soon 
be expected in the United States. He proceeded im- 
mediately to Washington's head-quarters, and thence 
to Congress. Although many of the Americans had 
hoped that their arms would be strengthened by the 
troops of their allies, yet no mdications had hitherto 
been given, which encouraged them to believe that any 
Bid of this sort would be rendered. The experiment 
was also thought by some to be hazardous. The 
prejudice against French soldiers, which had been im- 



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iET.48.] LIFE OP WASHINGTON. 335 

planted and nurtured by the colonial wars, it was feared 
might lead to serious consequences, if French troops 
should be landed in the United States, and brought to 
act in concert with the American army. So strongly 
was Count de Vergennes influenced by this apprehen- 
sion, that he opposed the sendmg of troops to America, 
and advised that the efibrts of France in succouring her 
ally should be expended in naval equipments, which he 
believed would be more effectual in annoying and weak- 
ening the common enemy. In this opinion, however, 
the other members of the cabinet did not concur, and 
it was resolved to send out a fleet with a body of troops 
to operate on land. Lafayette was principally instru- 
mental in effectmg this decision. It was a point upon 
which he had set his heart before he left America, and 
it may be presumed that he previously ascertamed the 
sentiments of Washington. At any rate, his observa- 
tion while in the country had convinced him, that French 
troops would be well received ; and he had the address 
to bring the majority of the ministry to the same way 
of thinking. 

In the month of June, Greneral Kn}rphausen crossed 
over with such a force as he could spare from New 
York, and made an incursion into New Jersey. He 
was met by detachments from the American army, and 
some smart skirmishing ensued, particularly at Spring- 
field, where the encounter lasted several hours. The 
enemy were driven back, and they retired to Staten 
Island. 

The object of this adventure could not easily be as- 
certained. General Washington at first supposed it to 
be a femt to amuse him in that quarter, while a more 
formidable force should be suddenly pushed up the 
Hudson to attack the posts in the Highlands. This 
opinion was countenanced by the arrival, just at that 



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336 LIFE OP WASHINGTON. [1780. 

time, of Sir Henry Clinton fix)m his successful expedi- 
tion against Charleston. No such attempt being made, 
however, the only effect was to draw General Wash- 
ington's army nearer the Hudson, where he took a po- 
sition in which he could act in defence of New Jersey 
or the Highlands, as occasion might require. 

News at length came, that the French fleet had en- 
tered the harbour of Newport, in Rhode Island, on the 
10th of July. The armament consisted of seven or eight 
ships of the line, two frigates, two bombs, and upwards 
of five thousand troops. The fleet was commanded 
by the Chevalier de Ternay, and the army by the 
Count de Rochambeau. This was called the first di- 
vision. Another, being detained for the want of trans- 
ports, was left at Brest almost ready to sail, which it 
was said would soon follow. 

The instructions from the ministry to Count de Ro- 
chambeau were extremely judicious, and contrived in 
every part to secure harmony between the American and 
French armies. The general and the troops were to be 
in all cases under the command of General Washington. 
When the two armies were united, the French troops 
were to be considered as auxiliaries, and to yield pre- 
cedence by taking the left American oflScers were to 
command French oflicers of equal rank, and holding 
commissions of the same dates ; and, in all military acts 
and capitulations, the American generals were to be 
named first and to sign first These instructions, ex- 
pressed m clear and positive terms, were made known 
to General Washington by Lafayette before the troops 
landed. A copy in detail was likewise sent to him by 
Count de Rochambeau. They produced all the happy 
effects, which could have been anticipated. Perfect 
harmony subsisted not only between the armies, but 
between the people and the French troops, from their 



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iET.48.] LIFE OF WASHINGTON. 337 

first arrival in the country till their final departure. 
The Continental oflScers, by the recommendation of 
General Washington, wore cockades of black and white 
intermixed, as a compliment to the French troops, 
and a symbol of friendship ; the former color being that 
of thft Amftriran rnrkadft. and flift lattp.r tViaf nf Aa 



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338 LIFE OF WASHINGTON. [1780. 

Henry Clinton, despairing of success, landed his men 
at Whitestone, on Long Island, and returned to New 
York, without effecting any part of his object Another 
reason for his sudden return was, that Washington had 
drawn his army across the Hudson, and taken a posi- 
tion on the east side of that river, from which he might 
attack the city during the absence of so large a portion 
of the troops. It was Sir Henry Clinton's first hope, 
that, by the aid of the fleet, he should be able to com- 
plete his expedition against Newport, and come back 
to New York before Washington could assume an at- 
titude which would menace the city ; but in this he was 
disappointed. 

Having a decided naval superiority, however. Admi- 
ral Arbuthnot blockaded the French squadron in the 
harbour of Newport, and Count de Rochambeau's army 
was obliged to remain there for its protection. This 
state of thmgs continued through the season, and no 
military enterprise was undertaken. The second French 
division was blockaded at Brest, and never came to 
America; and the Count de Guichen sailed from the 
West Indies to France without touching in any part of 
the United States. Both parties, therefore, stood on the 
defensive, watching each other's motions, and depend- 
ing on the operations of the British and French fleets. 
General Washington recrossed the Hudson, and en- 
camped below Orangetown, or Tappan, on the borders 
of New Jersey, which station he held till winter. 

In this interval of leisure, a conference between the 
commanders of the two allied armies was suggested by 
Count de Rochambeau, and readily assented to by 
General Washington. They met at Hartford, in Con- 
necticut, on the 21st of September. During the ab- 
sence of General Washington, the army was left under 
the command of General Greene. The interview was 



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iET. 48.] LIFE OF WASHINGTON. 339 

more interesting and serviceable in cementing a person- 



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340 LIFE OF WASHINGTON. [178a 

as to authorize a suspicion of his integrity, if not to 
afford evidence of deliberate fraud. 

These censures, added to the desperate state of his 
private affairs, were more than the pride of Arnold could 
bear. At once to take revenge, and to retrieve his for- 
tunes, he resolved to become a traitor to his country, 
and seek employment in the ranks of the enemy. This 
purpose was so far fixed in his mind fifteen months 
before its consummation, that he then began, and con- 
tinued afterwards, a secret correspondence with Major 
Andre, adjutant-general of the British army. The more 
easily to effect his designs, he sought and obtained the 
command at West Point, where he arrived the first 
week in August From that time it was his aim, by a 
plan concerted with the British general, to deliver West 
Point and the other posts of the Highlands into the 
hands of the enemy. 

The absence of Washington from the army, on his 
visit to Hartford, was thought to afford a fit occasion for 
bringing the affair to a crisis. The Vulture sloop of 
war ascended the Hudson, and anchored in Haverstraw 
Bay, six or seven miles below King's Ferry. It was 
contrived that a meeting should take place between 
Arnold and Andr6, for the purpose of making arrange- 
ments. Andre went ashore from the Vulture in the 
night on the west side of the river, where Arnold was 
waiting to receive him. They remained together in 
that place till the dawn of day, when, their busme^s not 
being finished, Arnold persuaded him to go to the house 
of Joshua H. Smith, at some distance fit)m the river, 
where he was concealed during the day. Arnold left 
him m the morning and went to West Pomt It was 
Andre's expectation and wish to return to the Vul- 
ture; but, this not bemg practicable, he left Smith's 
house in the dusk of the evening on horseback, and 



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342 LIFE OP WASHINGTON. [1780. 

acter. Till this time no one about him knew who he 
was, or that he held a military rank. He submitted 
the letter to Major Tallmadge and other officers, who 
read it with astonishment 

Having finished his mterview with the French com- 
manders, Washington returned from Hartford by the 
upper route through FishkilL Consequently the ex- 
press, who was sent with the papers, and who took the 
lower route, by which Washington had gone to Hart- 
ford, did not meet him, but came back to North Castle. 
In the mean time Washington pursued his journey by 
the way of Fishkill to West Point. Two or three 
hours before he reached Arnold's house, which was on 
the side of the river opposite to West Point and at 
a considerable distance below, the messenger arrived 
there with the letter from Jameson, by which Arnold 
was mformed of the capture of Andre. He read it with 
some degree of agitation, and, pretending that he was 
suddenly called to West Point, mounted a horse stand- 
ing at the door, rode to the river, entered his barge, and 
ordered the men to row down the stream. When the 
barge approached King's Ferry, he held up a white 
handkerchief, and the officer, who commanded at Ver- 
planck's Point, supposing it to be a flag-boat, allowed it 
to pass without inspection. Arnold proceeded directly 
to the Vulture, which was still at anchor in the river 
near the place where Andre had left it 

Washington arrived at Arnold's house, and went over 
to West Point, without hearing any thing of Arnold. 
On his return, however, in the afternoon, he received 
the abovementioned letter from Andr6, and the papers 
found in his boots, which had been forwarded from 
North Castle. The plot was now unravelled. The first 
thing to be done was to secure the posts. Orders 
were immediately despatched to all the principal officers, 
and every precaution was taken. 



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344 LIFE OF WASHINGTON. [1780. 

already pursued. From the moment of his capture till 
that of his execution, the conduct of Andre was marked 
with a candor, self-possession, and dignity, which betok- 
ened a brave and noble spirit There was no stronger 
trait in the character of Washington than humanity; 
the misfortunes and sufferings of others touched him 
keenly ; and his feelings were deeply moved at the part 
he was compelled to act in consenting to the death 
of Andre ; yet justice to the office he held, and to the 
cause for which his countrymen were shedding their 
blood, left him no alternative.* 

While these operations were going on at the north, 
all the intelligence from the south gave evidence, that 
affairs in that quarter were assummg a gloomy aspect 
The British forces, with Lord Comwallis at their head, 
were overrunning the Carolinas ; and preparations were 
making in New York to detach a squadron with troops 
to fall upon Virginia. The defeat of General Gates 
near Camden, in South Carolina, was a heavy blow 
upon the Americans, and left them in a state from 
which it was feared they would not soon recover. Con- 
gress requested General Washington to appoint an of- 
ficer to succeed Gates in the command of the southern 
army. With his usual determination and judgment he 
selected General Greene, who repaired to the theatre 
of action, in which he was so eminently distinguished 
during the subsequent years of the war. 

Gaining an mcreased confidence in the Commander- 
in-chief, which a long experience of his wisdom and 
disinterestedness authorized. Congress at length adopt- 
ed the important measures, in regard to the army, 
which he had earnestly and repeatedly advised and 

* A full and detailed account of the particulars relating^ to this sub- 
ject is contained in Sparks's lAft and Treamm of JhmoU being tlM 
third volume of the lAbrary of •^hneriean Biography, 



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^T. 48.] LIFE OF WASHINGTON. 345 

enforced. They decreed that all the troops, thence- 
forward to be raised, should be enlisted to serve during 
the war ; and that all the officers, who continued in the 
service to the end of the war, should be entitled to 
half-pay for life. Washington ever believed, that, if 
this system had been pursued from the beginning, it 
would have shortened the war, or at least have caused 
a great diminution in the expense. Unfortunately the 
States did not comply with the former part of the requi- 
sition, but adhered to the old method of filling up their 
quotas with men raised for three years and for shorter 
terms. The extreme difficulty of procuring recruits 
was the reason assigned for persevermg in this practice. 

Lafayette commanded six battalions of light infantry, 
stationed in advance of the mam army. He projected 
a descent upon Staten Island, but was prevented from 
executing it by the want of boats. A plan was likewise 
formed for a general attack on the north part of New 
York Island. The enemy's posts were reconnoitred, 
extensive preparations were made, and a large foraging 
party was sent into Westchester County to mask the 
design, and draw the attention of the enemy that way. 
But the sudden appearance of several armed vessels in 
the river caused the enterprise to be deferred and final- 
ly abandoned. The foraging expedition, conducted by 
General Stark, was successful 

The army went into wmter-quarters at the end of 
November; the Pennsylvania line near Morristown, the 
New Jersey regiments at Pompton, and the eastern 
troops in the Highlands. The head-quarters of the Com- 
mander-in-chief were at New Windsor. The French 
army remained at Newport, except the Duke de Lau- 
zun's legion, which was cantoned at Lebanon in Con- 
necticut. 

VOL. I. 44 



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346 LIFE OP WASHINGTON. [17BJ. 



CHAPTER Xin. 

Mutiny of the Pennsylvania and New Jersey Troops. — Agency of 
Washington in procuring Supplies from France. ^ Limited Powere 
of Congress. — Operations of the Enemy in the Chesapeake. — De- 
tachment to Virginia under Lafayette, — General Washington visits 
Count de Rochambeau at Newport. — Condition of the Army. — Inter- 
view between the American and French Commanders at Weathers- 
field. — Plan of Operations. — A combined Attack on New York pro- 
posed. — Junction between the American and French Armies. — 
Intelligence from Count de Grasse in the West Indies changes the 
Objects of the Campaign. — Successful Operations of Lafayette against 
Comwallis. — The combined Armies cross the Hudson and march to 
Virginia. — The Fleet of Count de Grasse enters the Chesapeake. — 
Siege of Yorktown. — Capitulation. — The American Army returns 
to Hudson's River; the French remains in Virginia. 

The year 1781 opened with an event, which filled 
the country with alarm, and threatened dangerous con- 
sequences. On the 1st of January a mutiny broke 
out among the Pennsylvania troops, stationed near 
Morristown, and about thirteen hundred men paraded 
under arms, refused obedience to their officers, killed 
one captain, mortally wounded another, and committed 
various outrages. The mutineers marched in a body 
towards Princeton with six field-pieces, avowing their 
mtention to proceed to Philadelphia, and demand from 
Congress a redress of their grievances. They com- 
plained that their pay was in arrears, that they were 
obliged to receive it in a depreciated currency, that 
many of the soldiers were detained beyond the term 
of their enlistment, and that they had suffered every 
hardship for the want of money, provisions, and clothmg. 
By the prudence and good management of General 
Wayne, who took care to supply them with provisions 
on their 'march, they were kept from plundering the 



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iET.49.] LIFE OP WASHINGTON. 347 

mhabitants and other excesses. He sent the intelli- 
gence of the revolt by an express to General Wash- 
ington, who, considering the number of the mutineers 
and the apparent justice of their complaints, recom- 
mended to him not to use force, which might inflame 
their passions, increase opposition, keep alive resent- 
ment, and tempt them to turn about and go to the 
enemy, who would not fail to hold out alluring offers* 
He advised General Wayne to draw from them a 
statement of their grievances, and promise to represent 
the case faithfully to Congress and the State of Penn- 
sylvania, and endeavour to obtam redress. 

These judicious counsels had the effect desired. A 
committee of Congress, joined by the President of 
Pennsylvania, met the revolters at Trenton, and made 
proposals to them, which were accepted, and they 
gave up their arms. An ambiguity in the written 
terms of enlistment was one of the principal causes 
of dissatisfaction. The agreement on the part of the 
soldiers was, to serve for three years or during the war. 
By the interpretation, which the oflScers gave to these 
expressions, they bound the soldiers to serve to the 
end of the war ; whereas the soldiers insisted, that 
they engaged for three years only, or during the war 
if it should come to an end before the three years 
had elapsed. Accordingly they demanded a discharge 
at the expiration of that period. This construction 
being allowed, it was the means of disbanding a large 
part of the Pennsylvania line for the winter, but it 
was recruited again in the spring to its original com- 
plement The revolters were indignant at the sus- 
picion of their going to the enemy, and scorned the 
idea, as they expressed it, of tummg Arnolds. Two 
emissaries sent among them with overtures from Sir 
Henry Clinton were given up, tried by a court-martial, 
and executed. 



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'MS LIFE OF WASHINGTON. [1781. 

Not knowing how far this example might infect the 
troops generally, the sufferings of all of whom were 
not less than those of the Pennsylvania line, General 
Washington took speedy measures to prevent the repe- 
tition of such a scene as had just occurred. He or- 
dered a thousand trusty men to be selected from the 
regiments in the Highlands, and held in readiness to 
march, with four days' provisions, at the shortest notice. 
The wisdom of this precaution was soon put to the 
proof; for news came, that the New Jersey troops, 
stationed at Pompton and Chatham, were in a state 
of mutiny, having risen in arms against their oflScers, 
and threatened to march to Trenton, where the legis- 
lature of the State was then in session, and demand 
redress at the pomt of the bayonet. The case required 
promptness and energy. Six hundred men were put 
under the command of General Howe, with orders to 
march and crush the revolt by force, unless the men 
should yield unconditional submission and return to 
their duty. These orders were faithfully executed. 
Taken by surprise, the mutineers were compelled to 
parade without their arms, make concessions to their 
oflScers, and promise obedience. To impress them 
with the enormity of their guilt, and deter them and 
others from future acts of the kmd, two of the ring- 
leaders w^ere tried by a field court-martial and shot 
By this summary proceeding the spirit of mutiny in 
the army was subdued. 

In the midst of these distracting events Washington 
was employed, at the request of Congress, in afford- 
ing important counsels to Colonel John Laurens, who 
had been appointed on a mission to France, for the 
purpose of obtaining a loan and military supplies. 
Such was the deranged state of the currency, so low 
had the resources of the country been drained, and 



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^T.49.] LIFE OF WASHINGTON. 349 

SO feeble was the power of drawing them out, that, 
in the opinion of all, the military efforts of the United 
States could not bfe exerted with a vigor suited to 
the exigency of the occasion, nor even with any thing 
more than a languishing inactivity, unless sustamed 
by succours from their allies both in money and sup- 
' plies for the army. The sentiments of Washington, 
communicating the fruits of his knowledge, experience, 
and judgment, with the weight of his name, were 
thought essential to produce a just impression on the 
French cabinet He wrote a letter to Colonel Lau- 
rens, remarkable for its appropriateness and ability, 
containing a clear and forcible representation of facts, 
with arguments in support of the application of Con- 
gress, which was first presented by that commissioner 
to Dr. Franklin, and afterwards laid before the mmistry 
and the King. The influence of this letter, in procuring 
the aids solicited from the French government, may be 
inferred from the circumstance of the loan being ac- 
companied with the suggestion, that the money to be 
appropriated for the army should be left at the dis- 
posal of General Washington. 

The existence of an army, and the prosecution of 
war, depend on the power of the civil head of a nation, 
as well as on its resources. So loose were the ties by 
which the confederacy was boimd together, so limited 
was the control exercised by Congress over the States, 
and so little inclined were the parts to unite in a consol- 
idated whole, that, from imbecility on the one hand and 
public apathy on the other, Washmgton became more 
and more fearful of the consequences. "The great busi- 
ness of war,*' said he, "can never be well conducted, if 
it can be conducted at all, while the powers of Congress 
are only recommendatory. While one State yields obe- 
dience, and another refuses it, while a third mutilates 

VOL. I. DD 



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350 LIFE OP WASHINGTON. [1781. 

and adopts the measure in part only, and all vary in time 
and manner, it is scarcely possible that our affairs should 
prosper, or that any thing but disappointment can follow 
the best concerted plans. The willing States are almost 
ruined by their exertions; distrust and jealousy ensue. 
Hence proceed neglect and ill-timed compliances, one 
State waiting to see what another will do. This thwarts • 
all our measures, after a heavy though ineffectual ex- 
pense is incurred.'' And he adds, on the point of 
vesting Congress with competent powers; "Our mde- 
pendence, our respectability and consequence in Eu- 
rope, our greatness as a nation hereafter, depend upon 
it The fear of giving sufficient powers to Congress, for 
the purposes I have mentioned, is ftitile. A nominal 
head, which at present is but another name for Con- 
gress, will no longer do. That honorable body, after 
hearing the interests and views of the several States 
fairly discussed and explained by their representatives, 
must dictate, and' not merely recommend and leave it 
to the States to do afterwards as they please, which, as 
I have observed before, is in many cases to do nothing 
at all/' These sentiments he often repeated in letters 
to his friends, but more as an expression of his wishes 
than in the confidence of hope. The time for establish- 
ing a firm and united government had not come. Nor 
indeed was it to be expected that the States, jealous of 
their rights, and each possessing within itself the sub- 
stance and the forms of a separate commonwealth, 
would resign without great caution these positive ad- 
vantages for the doubtful security of a new and untried 
system. 

It is remarkable, however, that Congress assumed 
and exercised certain powers implying the highest pre- 
rogatives of sovereignty, while they neglected to use 
others of a subordinate kind, which were less likely to 



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jBt.49.] life op WASHINGTON. 361 

be abused, and were even more necessary to move the 
great machine of government They made war, de- 
clared independence, formed treaties of alliance, sent 
mmbters to foreign courts, emitted a paper currency 
and pledged the credit of all the States for its redemp- 
tion, and on more than one occasion conferred dictato- 
rial powers on the commander of their armies. These 
acts of supreme power they hazarded without scruple 
or hesitation, without consulting their constituents or 
the fear of displeasing them; but they ventured only to 
recommend to the States to raise troops, levy taxes, 
clothe and feed their naked and starving soldiers, 
and to execute the laws for the purposes of internal 
government; shrinking from the responsibility of en- 
forcing their decrees, or even of advising compulsory 
measures. 

This seeming contradiction is not inexplicable. Their 
course was prudent, perhaps necessary. The first se- 
ries of acts here enumerated did not bear immediately 
upon the people. Alliances might be entered mto, a 
foreign minister might come or go, an army might be 
voted or the credit of the nation pledged, and no indi- 
vidual would feel any present inconvenience ; whereas, 
if a man was required to be a soldier, to pay a tax, or 
give up part of his substance, he would begin to think 
of himself, talk of his rights, complain of hardships, and 
question the authority that demanded obedience. The 
difficulty of exacting such obedience by force, and the 
danger of the attempt, are equally obvious. 

The British general seems not to have meditated any 
offensive operations in the northern States for the com- 
ing campaign. His attention was chiefly directed to 
the south, where such detachments as could be spared 
from his army at New York were to cooperate with 
Lord Comwallis. Sixteen hundred men, with a pro- 



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362 LIFE OP WASHINGTON. [178L 

portionate number of armed vessels, were sent into 
the Chesapeake under the command of Arnold, who 
was eager to prove his zeal for the cause of his new 
friends by the mischief he could do to those, whom he 
had deserted and sought to betray. Before his arrival 
in the Chesapeake, General Leslie had left Virginia and 
sailed for Charleston ; so that Arnold received the un- 
divided honor of his exploits, and, what he valued more 
highly, a liberal share of the booty that fell into his 
hands. He burnt Richmond, seized private property, 
and committed depredations in sundry places. 

About the middle of January the British fleet block- 
ading the harbour of Newport was so much shattered 
and dispersed by a violent storm, that the scale of 
superiority turned in favor of the French squadron. 
The Chevalier de Temay had recently died, and 
M. Destouches, who succeeded him in the command, 
reconnoitred the enemy's fleet after the storm, and, 
finding it well secured in Grardmer's Bay, at the east 
end of Lon^ Island, he was not inclined to seek an 
engagement. Taking advantage of the opportunity, 
however, he detached a ship of the liiie and two 
fi-igates under M. de Tilly to the Chesapeake, with 
the design to blockade Arnold's squadron, and to act 
against him in concert with the American troops on 
land. As soon as General Washington heard of the 
damage suffered by the British ships, he wrote to 
Count de Rochambeau, recommending that M. Des- 
touches should proceed immediately to Virginia with 
his whole fleet and a thousand troops from the French 
army. This advice was not received till after the 
departure of M. de Tilly from Newport, when it was 
too late to comply with it, as the British fleet m the 
mean time had gained strength, and made it hazard- 
ous for M. Destouches to leave the harbour. 



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iET.49.] LIFE OF WASHINGTON. 353 

M. de Tilly's expedition was only in part successful. 
He entered the Chesapeake, but Arnold drew his 
vessels so high up the Elizabeth River, that they 
could not be reached by the French line-of-battle 
ship ; and one of the frigates ran aground, and was 
set afloat again with difliculty. As M. de Tilly could 
not remain long in the Chesapeake without the haz- 
ard of bemg blockaded by a British force, he put 
to sea and arrived at Newport after an absence of 
fifteen days. 

Although the British had repaired their damaged 
vessels, yet by the junction of M. de Tilly an equality 
was restored to the French; and M. Destouches, in 
conformity to the recommendation of General Wash- 
ington, resolved on an expedition to Virginia with 
his whole naval force, to which Count de Rocham- 
beau added eleven hundred troops, commanded by 
Baron de ViomeniL The French were pursued by 
Admiral Arbuthnot with all his blockadmg squadron, 
and overtaken near the Capes of Virginia, where an 
action ensued, which terminated with nearly equal 
honor to both parties. The object of the expedition 
was thus defeated, unless it was a part of M. Des- 
touches's purpose to bring on a naval engagement, 
which is not improbable. The fleet returned to New- 
port without attempting to enter the Chesapeake. 

The moment Washington received the intelligence, 
that M. de Tilly had sailed to the southward, he 
detached twelve hundred men from his army to pro- 
ceed by land to the Chesapeake and cooperate with 
the French against Arnold. At the head of this de- 
tachment he placed the Marquis de Lafayette, being 
influenced in his choice both by a political motive, 
and by his confidence in the ability and bravery of 
that officer. The appointment was complimentary to 

VOL. I. 45 DD* 



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354 LIFE OF WASHINGTON. [1781. 

the allies, and it was thought that harmony would be 
more surely preserved by a commander, who was be- 
loved by the American troops, and respected for his 
rank and character by his own countrymen. Lafayette 
marched from Hudson's River on the 20th of February. 
On his arrival in Virginia, his seniority of rank would 
give hun the command of all the Continental troops 
m that State, and of all the militia drawn into the 
service to oppose the enemy m the waters of the 
Chesapeake. Hitherto Baron Steuben had conducted 
the operations against Arnold in Virginia, having been 
detained for that purpose when on his way to join 
General Greene. 

To mature the plans for the campaign, and to com- 
municate with the French commanders on points that 
could not be safely intrusted to writing. General 
Washington made a journey to Newport. He left 
head-quarters on the 2d of March, and was absent 
nearly three weeks. He arrived a day or two before 
M. Destouches's departure on the expedition above 
mentioned. The citizens of Newport received him 
with a public address, expressive of their attachment, 
their gratitude for his services, and the joy they felt 
at seeing him among them. In his reply he took 
care to reciprocate and confirm the sentiments, which 
they had declared in regard to the allies. " The 
conduct of the French army and fleet,** said he, " of 
which the inhabitants testify so grateful and so afiec- 
tionate a sense, at the same time that it evinces the 
wisdom of the commanders and the discipline of the 
troops, is a new proof of the magnanimity of the 
nation. It is a further demonstration of that gener- 
ous zeal and concern for the happiness of America, 
which brought them to om- assistance, a happy pre- 
sage of future haiTOony, a pleasing evidence that an 



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JEt,49.] life of WASHINGTON. 355 

intercourse between the two nations will more and 



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356 LIFE OF WASHINGTON. [1781. 

eral Washington, directing him to march to the south, 
and either meet the enemy in Virginia, or continue 
onward to the southern army, as should be advised 
by General Greene. 

The enemy ascended the Chesapeake Bay and its 
principal rivers with their small armed vessels, plunder- 
ing and laying waste the property of the inhabitants. 
One of these vessels came up the Potomac to Mount 
Vernon ; and the manager of the estate, with the hope 
of saving the houses from being pillaged and burnt, 
yielded to the denmnds of the officers in a manner, 
which excited the regret and displeasure of Wash- 
ington. In reply to his manager, who had informed 
him of the particulars, he said; "I am very sorry 
to hear of your loss ; I am a little sorry to hear of 
my own ; but that which gives me most concern is, 
that you should go on board the enemy's vessels, and 
furnish them with refreshments. It would have been 
a less painful circumstance to me to have heard, that, 
in consequence of your non-compliance with their 
request, they had burnt my house and laid the plan- 
tation in ruins. You ought to have considered your- 
self as my representative, and should have reflected 
on the bad example of communicating with the ene- 
my, and making a voluntary offer of refreshments to 
them with a view to prevent a conflagration. It was 
not in your power, I acknowledge, to prevgit them 
from sending a flag on shore, and you did right to 
meet it; but you should, in the same instant that the 
business of it was unfolded, have declared explicitly, 
that it was improper for you to yield to the request; 
after which, if they had proceeded to help themselves 
by force, you could but have submitted; and, being 
unprovided for defence, this was to be preferred to a 
feeble opposition, which only serves as a pretext to 



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iET.49.] LIFE OP WASHINGTON. 357 

bum and destroy/' The reader need not be remind- 
ed of the accordance of these sentiments with the 
noble disinterestedness, which regulated his conduct 
through the whole of his public life. 

An extract from his Diary, written on the 1st of 



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358 LWE OF WASHINGTON. [1781. 

of ever getting more than half; in a word, mstead 
of having every thing in readmess to take the iSeld, 
we have nothing; and, instead of having the prospect 
of a glorious offensive campaign before us, we have 
a bewildered and gloomy defensive one, unless we 
should receive a powerful aid of ships, land troops, 
and money from our generous allies, and these at 
present are too contingent to build upon/* 

Happily the train of affiadrs took a more favorable 
turn than he anticipated. In a short time he received 
the cheering intelligence, that the Count de Barras had 
arrived in Boston harbour with a French frigate, that 
other vessels and a reinforcement of troops from France 
might soon be looked for, and that a fleet under the 
Count de Grasse would sail from the West Indies to 
the United States in July or August. Another meet- 
ing between the commanders of the aUied armies was 
thus rendered necessary. It took place at Weathers- 
field, in Connecticut, on the 22d of May. Count de 
Barras, having succeeded M. Destouches in the com- 
mand of the French squadron, was detained at New- 
port by the appearance of a British fleet off the harf)our; 
but the Marquis de Chastellux, a major-general in the 
army, accompanied Count de Rochambeau. On the 
part of the Americans were the Commander-in-chie^ 
General Knox, and General Duportail. 

The two principal objects brought under considera- 
tion were ; first, a southern expedition to act against 
the enemy in Virginia ; secondly, a combined attack on 
New York. The French commander leaned to the 
former ; but he yielded to the stronger reasons for the 
latter, which was decidedly preferred by General Wash- 
ington. A movement to the south must be wholly by 
land, the French fleet being inferior to that of Admiral 
Arbuthnot, by which it was blockaded, and of course 



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jEt.49.] life op WASHINGTON. 369 

not in a condition to go to sea. The difficulty and 
expense of transportation, the season of the year in 
which the troops would reach Virginia, being the 
hottest part of summer, and the waste of men always 
attending a long march, were formidable objections to 
the first plan. It was believed, also, that the enemy^s 
force in New York had been so much weakened by 
detachments, that Sir Henry Clinton would be com- 
pelled either to sacrifice that place and its dependen- 
cies, or recall part of his troops fix)m the south to 
defend them. 

It was therefore agreed, that Count de Rochambeau 
should march as soon as possible from Newport, and 
form a junction with the American army near Hudson's 
River. Before leaving Weathersfield, a circular letter 
was written by General Washmgton to the governors 
of the eastern States, acquainting them with the result 
of the conference, and urging them to fill up their 
quotas of Continental troops with all possible despatch, 
and to hold a certain number of militia in readiness to 
march at a week's notice. If men could not be ob- 
tained for three years, or during the war, he recom- 
mended that they should be enlisted for the campaign 
only, deeming the exigency to be of the greatest im- 
portance, both in a military point of view and in its 
political bearings; for the zeal of the Americans, and 
their wiUingness to make sacrifices for the common 
cause, would be estimated by the manner in which 
they should now second the efibrts of their allies, and 
contribute to give effect to their proffered services. A 
body of militia was likewise to be called to Newport, 
for the defence of the French fleet in the harbour after 
the departure of the troops. The two commanders 
returned to their respective armies, and prepared to put 
their plan in execution. 



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360 LIFE OP WASHINGTON. [1781. 

It may here be observed, that, after the treaty of 
alliance, the people of the United States, feeling secure 
of their independence by the powerful aid of France, 
became more and more remiss in complying with the 
requisitions of Congress. The eastern and middle States 
in particular, after the French troops had arrived in the 
country, and the theatre of war had been transferred by 
the enemy to the south, relapsed into a state of com- 
parative inactivity and indifference; the more observ- 
able on account of the contrast it presented with the 
ardor, energy, and promptitude which had previously 
characterized them. To shake off this lethargy, or at 
least to counteract its influence and stimulate them to 
furnish the supplies absolutely necessary for the army, 
Washington resorted to every expedient, which he 
thought would operate on their public spirit and imme- 
diate interests. Hence he had determined, nearly a year 
before this time, to give out and cause it to be believed, 
that New York was the point of attack at which he 
aimed with aU the force and means that could be col- 
lected. Speaking on this subject at a later date, he 
said, "It never was in contemplation to attack New 
York, unless the garrison should first have been so far 
disgamished to carry on the southern operations, as to 
render our success in the siege of that place as in- 
fallible as any future military event can ever be made. 
For, I repeat it, and dwell upon it again and agam, 
some splendid advantage (whether upon a larger or 
smaller scale was almost immaterial) was so essentially 
necessary to revive the expiring hopes and languid 
exertions of the country, at the crisis in question, that I 
never would have consented to embark in any enter- 
prise, wherem, from the most rational plan and accurate 
calculations, the favorable issue should not have ap- 
peared as clear to my view as a ray of light. The 



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362 LIFE OP WASHINGTON. [1781. 

from Providence by way of Hartford. The Americans 
encamped in two lines, with their right resting on the 
Hudson. The French occupied the left, in a smgle 
line extending to the river Brunx. 

Preparations were made for an attack on the north 
part of New York Island a short time before the junc- 
tion of the two armies. General Lincohi descended 
the Hudson with a detachment of eight hundred men 
in boats for this purpose, landed above Haerlem River, 
and took possession of the high ground near Eangs- 
bridge. At the same time the Duke de Lauzun was 
to advance from East Chester with his legion, and fall 
upon Delancey's corps of refugees at Morrisania. Un- 
foreseen causes prevented the attack, and Lauzun did 
not arrive in season to effect his part of the enterprise. 
After some skirmishing the enemy^s out-posts were 
withdrawn to the other side of Haerlem River. Gen- 
eral Washington came forward with the madn army as 
far as Valentine's Hill, four miles from Kingsbridge, to 
support General Lincoln in case it should be neces- 
sary. The troops lay upon their arms during the night, 
and the next day retired to the encampment near 
Dobbs's Ferry. 

At this place the two armies continued six weeks. 
A plan of a general attack was formed, and the two 
commanders reconnoitred the enemy's works, first by 
passing over the Hudson and viewing them across the 
river from the elevated grounds between Dobbs's Ferry 
and Fort Lee, and next at Kingsbridge and other 
places in its vicinity. But the recruits came in so 
tardily from the States, that the army was never in a 
condition to authorize an undertaking of such magni- 
tude without the co6peration of a French fleet supe- 
rior to the British; more especially as a remforcement 
of about three thousand Hessian recruits arrived in 



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364 LIFE OP WASHINGTON. [1781. 

SO young an ofRcer the hazardous experiment of en- 
countering one of the most experienced and accom- 
plished generals of the age. **Be assured, my dear 
Marquis,'* said Washmgton m writing to him, **your 
conduct meets my warmest approbation, as it must 
that of everybody. Should it ever be said, that my 
attachment to you betrayed me into partiality, you 
have only to appeal to facts to refute any such charge.^ 
Count de Vergennes bore similar testimony. In a 
letter to Lafayette he said; "I have followed you step 
by step through your whole campaign in Virginia, and 
should often have trembled for you, if I had not been 
confident m your wisdom. It requires no common 
ability and skill to enable a man to sustam himself as 
you have done, and during so long a time, before such 
a general as Lord Comwallis, who is lauded for his 
talents in war ; and this too, with such a great dispro- 
portion in your forces.** The minister of war was also 
commanded by the King to express the royal appro- 
bation in the warmest terms, and to assure Lafayette 
of his being raised to the rank of field-marshal in the 
French army, when his services should be no longer 
required in the United States.* 

* An iDcident at the beginmng of the campaign, alike honorable to 
the character of Lafayette and expressive of his disinterested zeal, 
should not be overlooked in this place, nor ever be forgotten by an 
American. When his detachment arrived at Baltimore, on its march 
from the Head of Elk to the south, the men were suffering for the want 
of suitable clothes. The military chest was exhausted. He procured 
from the merchants in Baltimore, on his persona] credit, a sufficient 
quantity of cloth to supply the want, and enable the soldiers to pursue 
their march. Alluding to this generous act, Washington said, in a letter 
to him; 

*<The measures you had taken to obtain, on your own credit, a supply 
of clothing and necessaries for the detachment, must entitle yon to all 
their gratitude and affection ; and will, at the same time that it endears 
your name, if possible, still more to this country, be an everlasting monu- 
ment of your ardent zeal and attachment to its cause, and the establish- 



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iET.49.] LIFE OF WASHINGTON. 365 

It was the iSrst object of Washington and Rocham- 
beau to act against Cornwallis in Virginia. Should 
that general retreat to North Carolina, it was then in- 
tended to pursue him with a part of the combmed 

_- J X- 1 i_ xi- _ •.:!_- __, 1 1 iL _ 



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366 LIFE OP WASHINGTON. [1781. 

of General Lincoln. The soldiers, being mostly finom 
the eastern and middle States, marched with reluctance 
to the southward, and showed strong symptoms of dis- 
content when they passed through Philadelphia. This 
had been foreseen by Greneral Washington, and he 
urged the Superintendent of Finance to advance to 
them a month's pay in hard money. But there was 
no such money in the treasury. Mr. Morris succeeded, 
however, in borrowing for this purpose twenty thousand 
hard dollars from the French commander, which he 
promised to return within thirty days. 

General Washington and Count de Rochambeau 
preceded the army; and the former, after stopping for 
a short time in Philadelphia, hastened forward to 
Mount Vernon, which lay in his route. This casual 
visit was the first he had paid to his home since he 
left it to attend the second Continentsd Congress, a 
period of six years and five months ; so entirely had 
he sacrificed his time, personal interests, and local at- 
tachments to the service of his country. Nor did he 
now remain any longer, than to await the arrival of 
Count de Rochambeau, whom he had left at Baltimore. 
The two generals then made all haste to the head- 
quarters of Lafayette's army near Williamsburg, which 
they reached on the 14th of September. 

In the mean time Count de Grasse, with his whole 
fleet, consisting of twenty-six ships of the line and 
several frigates, entered the Chesapeake, after a partial 
engagement with Admiral Graves off the Capes. He 
had also been joined by the Count de Barras, with the 
French squadron from Newport Three thousand men 
from the West Indies, commanded by the Marquis de 
St Simon, had akeady landed, and united with La- 
fayette. Transports were immediately despatched up 
the Chesapeake, to bring down the French and Ameri- 



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iET.49.1 LIFE OP WASHINGTON. 367 



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368 LIFE OF WASHINGTON. [1781. 

corps of the American party was led by Colonel Ham- 
aton, "whose well-known talents and gallantry ,'' said 
Lafayette in his report, **were most conspicuous and 
serviceable." Colonels Laurens, Gimat, and Barber 
were also distinguished in this assault. 

The besiegers pushed forward their trenches, and 
kept up an incessant fire from their batteries, till the 
17th of October, when, about ten o'clock in the morn- 
ing, the enemy beat a parley, and Lord Comwallis sent 
out a note to General Washmgton proposing a cessation 
of hostilities for twenty-four hours, and the appomtment 
of commissioners on each side to settle the terms for 
surrendering the posts of Yorktown and Gloucester, In 
reply General Washmgton requested, that, as a pre- 
liminary step, his Lordship would communicate in writ- 
ing the terms on which he proposed to surrender. This 
was complied with, and hostihties ceased. 

The basis of a capitulation, furnished by the British 
general, was, that the garrisons should be prisoners of 
war, with the customary honors; that the British and 
German troops should be sent to Europe, under an en- 
gagement not to serve against France or America till 
released or exchanged ; that all arms and public stores 
should be given up ; that the officers and soldiers should 
retain their private property ; and that the interest of 
several individuals in a civil capacity should be at- 
tended to. This last clause was designed to protect 
the traders and other Americans, who had joined the 
enemy. 

Some of these points not being admissible. General 
Washington transmitted an answer the next day, m 
which he sketched the outlines of a capitulation, and 
informed Lord Comwallis, that he was ready to appoint 
commissioners to digest the articles. All the troops in 
the garrisons were to be prisoners of war, and marched 



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370 LIFE OP WASHINGTON. [178L 

was somewhat over seven thousand men ; and the 
British loss during the siege was between five and six 
hundred. The combined army employed in the siege 
consisted of about seven thousand American regular 
troops, upwards of five thousand French, and four thou- 
sand militia. The loss m killed and wounded was 
about three hundred. The land forces surrendered to 
General Washington, and became prisoners to Con- 
gress; but the seamen, ships, and naval equipments, 
were assigned to the French admiraL 

The success was more complete, and more speedily 
attained, than had been anticipated. The capture of 
Comwallis, with so large a part of the British army 
in America, occasioned great rejoicings throughout the 
country, as affording a decbive presage of the favora- 
ble termmation of the war. Congress passed a special 
vote of thanks to each of the commanders, and to the 
officers and troops. Two stands of colors, taken firom 
the enemy at the capitulation, were given to General 
Washington, and two pieces of field-ordnance to Count 
de Rochambeau and Count de Grasse respectively, as 
tokens of the national gratitude for their services. Con- 
gress moreover resolved to conmiemorate so glorious 
an event by causmg a marble column to be erected 
at Yorktown, adorned with emblems of the alliance 
between France and the United States, and an inscrip- 
tion containing a narrative of the principal incidents 
of the siege and surrender. 

General Washington, believing a most favorable op- 
portunity now presented itself for following up this 
success by an expedition against Charleston, wrote a 
letter to Count de Grasse the day after the capitulation, 
requesting him to join in it with his fleet He also 
went on board the admiraPs ship, as well to pay his re- 
spects and offer his thanks for what had ah^ady been 



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372 LIFfi OF WASHINGTON. [1781. 

gmia, and Fredericktown in Maryland; and a part of 
them subsequently to Lancaster in Pennsylvania. Lord 
Comwallis, and the other principal officers, went by sea 
to New York on parole. 

All these afiairs bemg arranged, General Washington 
left Yorktown on the 5th of November, The same day 
he arrived at Eltham, where he was present at the 
death of Mr, Custis, the only son of Mrs. Washington. 
He stayed there a few days to mingle his grief with 
that of the afflicted widow and mother. The occasion 
was not less trying to his sympathy than to his sensibili* 
ty, for he had watched over the childhood and youth of 
the deceased with a paternal solicitude, and afterwards 
associated with him as a companion, who possessed his 
confidence and esteem, Mr, Custis was a member of 
the Virginia legislature, and much respected for his 
public and private character. He died at the age 
of twenty-eight, leaving four mfant children, the two 
youngest of whom, a son and daughter, were adopted 
by General Washington, and they resided in his famfly 
till the end of his life. 

From Eltham he proceeded by the way of Mount 
Vernon to Philadelphia, receiving and answering various 
public addresses while on his journey. The day after 
his arrival he attended Congress, being introduced into 
the hall by two members, and greeted with a congratu- 
latory address by the President. He was requested 
to remain for some time in Philadelphia, both that he 
might enjoy a respite from the fatigues of war, and that 
Congress might avail themselves of his aid m making 
preparations for vigorous and timely efforts to draw 
every advantage from the recent triumph of the allied 
arms. 



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jEt.49.] life op WASHINGTON. 373 



CHAPTER XIV. 

Preparations for another Campaign recommended and enforced by Gen- 
eral Washington and approved by Congress. — Lafayette returns to 
France. — The Affair of Captain AsgilL ^- Backwardness of the States 
in recruiting the Army. — Proposal to General Washington to assume 
Supreme Power, and his Reply. — Sir Guy Carleton gives Notice, that 
Negotiations for Peace had begun. — The French Troops march from 
Virginia, join General Washington, and afterwards embark at Boston. 
Dissatisfaction of the Army. — The Officers send a Memorial to Con- 
gress.— The anonymous Addresses at Newburg. — Intelligence ar- 
rives, that a Treaty of Peace had been signed at Paris. — General 
Washington's Sentiments concerning the civil Government of the 
Union. — His Circular Letter to the States. — He makes a Tour to the 
North. — Repairs to Congress at the Request of that Body. -^ His 
Farewell Address to the Army. — The British evacuate New York, 
— Washington resigns his Commission, and retires to private Life at 
Mount Vernon. 

From the state of affairs at this time, both m Europe 
and America, it was evident that the war could not 
be of much longer duration. Considering the temper 
hitherto manifested by the British cabinet, however, 
and the spirit with which a large majority of the nation 
had sustained the ministerial measures, it was generally 
supposed that another campaign would be tried. This 
was Washington's belief; and, in his communications to 
Congress and to persons of influence in various parts 
of the country, he urged the importance of being fully 
prepared. This he regarded as the wisest policy in 
any event K the war continued, the preparations 
would be necessary ; if it ceased, they would have a 
favorable effect on the negotiations for peace. 

He was apprehensive, that the people, from a mis- 
taken idea of the magnitude of the late success 
in Virginia, would deceive themselves with delusive 
hopes, and grow remiss in their efforts. ** To prevent 

VOL. h F F 



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374 LIFE OP WASHINGTON. [1782. 

SO great an evil,^ said he, ** shall be my study and 
endeavour; and I cannot but flatter myself that the 
States, rather than relax m their exertions, will be stim- 
ulated to the most vigorous preparations for another 
active, glorious, and decisive campaign, which, if prop- 
erly prosecuted, will, I trust, under the smiles of Heaven, 
lead us to the end of this long and tedious war, and 
set us down in the full security of the great object of 
our toUs, the establishment of peace, liberty, and inde- 
pendence. Whatever may be the policy of European 
courts during this wmter, their negotiation will prove 
too precarious a dependence for us to trust to. Our 
wisdom should dictate a serious preparation for war, 
and, in that state, we shall find ourselves in a situation 
secure against every event^ 

These sentiments met the full concurrence of Con- 
gress. They resolved to keep up the same military 
establishment as the year before; and to call on the 
States to complete their quotas of troops at an early 
day. They voted new requisitions of money and sup- 
plies. These resolves were adopted with a promptness, 
zeal, and unanimity, which had rarely been shown on 
former occasions. To aid in carrying them into effect, 
it was. deemed advisable for the Commander-in-chief 
to write two circular letters to the governors of all the 
States. The first, relating to finance, was dated on 
the 22d of January, 1782, and contained arguments for 
raising money adequate to the public exigences, par- 
ticularly the payment and clothing of the troops. The 
second, dated a week later, exhibited the numbers and 
condition of the army then in the field, and urged the 
completing of the quotas according to the requisition 
of Congress. 

" To bring the war to a speedy and happy conclu- 
sion,'' said he, "must be the fervent wish of every 



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iGT.50.] LIFE OF WASHINGTON. 376 

lover of his country ; and sure I am, that no means are 
so likely to eflFect these as vigorous preparations for 
anothftr ramnaiern. Whftthftr. then, we nonsuit our 



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376 LIFE OP WASHINGTON. [178B. 

terity, and even in the estimation of the whole worid, 
which will consider us as a nation unworthy of pros- 
perity, because we know not how to make a right use 
of it. 



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878 LIFE OP WASHINGTON. [1788. 

he was commended to the notice of his sovereign in 
very warm terms. Much reliance was placed on the 
representations he would make concernmg the state 
of affairs in America, and on his influence to procure 
the desired assistance from the French government 
The ministers from the United States in Europe were 
likewise instructed to confer with the Marquis de La- 
fayette, and avail themselves of his knowledge and 
counsels. 

About the middle of April, General Washington left 
Philadelphia and joined the army, establishing his head- 
quarters at Newburg. He had hardly arrived in camp, 
when he heard of an occurrence, which produced much 
excitement at the time, and led to consequences of con- 
siderable notoriety, though in themselves of little mo- 
ment. The particulars are these. Captain Huddy, an 
American officer, who commanded a small body of 
troops in Monmouth County, New Jersey, was taken 
prisoner by a party of refugees, conveyed into New 
York, and put in close confinement A few days after- 
wards he was sent out of the city, under the charge of 
Captain Lippencot at the head of a number of refu- 
gees, by whom he was hanged on the heights near 
Middletown. This wanton act exasperated the people 
m the neighbourhood, who knew and esteemed Captain 
Huddy. Affidavits and a statement of facts were for- 
warded to General Washmgton. These he laid before 
a council of officers, who gave it as their unanimous 
opinion, that the case demanded retaliation, that the 
punishment ought to be inflicted on the leader of the 
party by which the murder was committed, and that, 
if he should not be given up, an officer equal in rank 
to Captsdn Huddy ought to be selected by lot fi-om 
the British prisoners. 

A representation of the facts was accordingly sent to 



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iET. 50.] LIFE OP WASHINGTON. 379 

Sir Henry Clinton, with a demand for the surrender of 
Lippencot. This demand not being complied with, an 
oflScer was designated for retaliation. The lot fell upon 
Captain Asgill, a young man only nineteen years old, 
who was then a prisoner at Lancaster in Pennsylvania. 
The affair was in suspense for several months. Although 
Lippencot was not delivered up, yet Sir Henry Clinton, 
and his successor Sir Guy Carleton, not only disavowed 
the act as having been done without authority, but 
reprobated it with unmeasured severity. The subject 
was referred by them to a court-martial, and Lippencot 
was tried. From the developements it appeared, that 
the guilt of the transaction rested mainly with the Board 
of Associated Loyalists in New York, and that Lip- 
pencot acted in conformity with what he believed to 
be the orders of the board. Hence he was acquitted, 
as not properly answerable for the crime of the act 
When these circumstances were made known, the 
whole matter was laid before Congress. Considering 
the ground taken by the British commanders in disa- 
vowing and censuring the act, added to the irrespon- 
sible nature of Lippencot's conduct. General Wash- 
ington mclined to release Captain Asgill, and was dis- 
appointed and dissatisfied at the delay of Congress m 
coming to a decision on the subject Meanwhile the 
mother of Asgill, already borne down with family alHic- 
tions, which were increased by the impending fate of 
her son, wrote a pathetic letter of intercession to the ' 
French ministry. This was shown to the King and 
Queen ; and it wrought so much on their feelings, that 
Count de Vergennes by their direction wrote to Gen- 
eral Washington, soliciting the liberation of Asgill. 
Although this communication arrived after it had been 
determmed not to msist on retaliation, yet it had the 
effect to hasten the proceedings of Congress, and by 
their order Captain Asgill was set at liberty. 



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380 LIFE OF WASHINGTON. [\78SL 

Little progress was made by the States m fiOing 
up their quotas of troops. When General Washington 
arrived in camp, the whole number of effective men 
m the northern army was somewhat short of ten thou- 
sand ; nor was it much mcreased afterwards. In fact, 
after the capitulation at Yorktown, the conviction was 
nearly universal, that the war would not be pursued 
any further in the United States. The recruitmg ser- 
vice consequently languished. Relieved from danger, 
and worn out with their long toils and sacrifices, the 
people were slow to perceive, that large preparations 
would be the means of procuring better terms of peace, 
and seemed contented with the present prospects. 
News arrived in the first part of May, which indicated 
an approaching change in the British cabinet, and 
symptoms of pacific measures. Fearful of the effect, 
which this intelligence might produce, Washmgton 
took occasion to express his own sentiments without 
reserve in a circular letter, which he was just at that 
time despatching to the governors of the States. 

" Upon the most mature deliberation I can bestow,^ 
he observed, " I am obliged to declare it as my candid 
opinion, that the measures of the enemy in all their 
views, so far as they respect America, are merely de- 
lusory (they having no serious mtention to admit our 
mdependence upon its true principles), and are calcu- 
lated to quiet the minds of their own people, and re- 
concile them to the continuance of the war; while 
they are meant to amuse the country into a false 
idea of peace, to draw us off from our connexion with 
France, and to lull us into a state of security and inac- 
tivity, which havmg taken place, the ministry will be 
left to prosecute the war in other parts of the world 
with greater vigor and effect Even if the nation and 
Parliament are really in earnest to obtain peace with 



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iET.50.] LIFE OP WASHINGTON. 381 



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382 LIFE OP WASHINGTON. [1781. 

" This must have shown to all, and to military men 
m particular, the weakness of republics, and the exer- 
tions the army have been able to make by being under 
a proper head. Therefore I little doubt, that, when 
the benefits of a mixed government are pointed out, 
and duly considered, such will be readily adopted. In 
this case it will, I believe, be uncontroverted, that the 
same abilities, which have led us through difficulties, 
apparently insurmountable by human power, to victory 
and glory, those qualities, that have merited and ob- 
tained the universal esteem and veneration of an army, 
would be most likely to conduct and direct us in the 
smoother paths of peace. Some people have so con- 
nected the ideas of tyranny and monarchy, as to find 
it very difficult to separate them. It may therefore be 
requisite to give the head of such a constitution, as I 
propose, some title apparently more moderate ; but, if 
all other things were once adjusted, I believe strong 
arguments might be produced for admitting the title 
of King, which I conceive would be attended with 
some material advantages.** 

To this communication, as unexpected as it was ex- 
traordinary in its contents, Washington replied as fol- 
lows. 

« Newburg, 22 May, 1782. 
**SlR, 

** With a mixture of great surprise and astonishment, 
I have read with attention the sentiments you have 
submitted to my perusal. Be assured, Sir, no oc- 
currence in the course of the war has given me more 
painful sensations, than your information of there being 
such ideas existing in the army, as you have expressed, 
and I must view with abhorrence and reprehend with 
severity. For the present the communication of them 
will rest in my own bosom, unless some further agitation 
of the matter shall make a disclosure necessary. 



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384 LIFE OP WASHINGTON. [1782. 

Carieton again wrote, that he was authorized to give 
notice, that negotiations for a general peace had com- 
menced at Paris, and that the independence of the 
United States would be conceded as a preliminary 
step. From this time, therefore, preparations for war 
ceased, and no further acts of hostility were committed 
by either party. It not being certain, nevertheless, that 
the negotiations would actually result in peace, no part 
of the American army was dismissed, but the posture 
of defence was maintained with the same caution and 
vigilance as before. 

The French troops had continued in Virginia since 
the capitulation at Yorktown. They marched to Hud- 
son's River, and formed a junction with the forces un- 
der Washington about the middle of September. The 
two armies had been encamped on the east side of the 
river near Verplanck's Point more than a month, when 
the French marched to Boston, where a fleet was ready 
to receive them, and sailed before the end of Decem- 
ber, having been in the country two and a half years. 
The Baron de Viomenil commanded the troops when 
they went on board the fleet at Boston. The Count 
de Rochambeau, accompanied by the Marquis de Chas- 
tellux, sailed some days later from Baltimore. 

General Washington had drawn the larger part of 
his army down the river to Verplanck's Point, more as 
a mark of courtesy to the allied troops in meeting them 
there, than for any military object ; and, after their de- 
parture, he returned to his former encampment at 
Newburg, where head-quarters continued till the army 
was disbanded. 

The wmter being a season of inactivity, and the 
prospect of peace becoming every day less doubtful, 
the officers and soldiers had leisure to reflect on their 
situation, and to look forward to the condition awaiting 



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386 LIFE OF WASHINGTON. [1789. 

of confederation, which required the concurrence of nine 
States to any act appropriating public money, had been 
adopted ; and nine States had never been in favor of 
the measure. Should the requisitions of Congress there- 
fore be respected, or should permanent funds be 
granted by the States, the prevailing sentiment of the 
nation was too hostile to the compensation, which had 
been stipulated, to leave a probability that it would 
be substantially made. This was not merely the sen- 
timent of the individuals then administering the govern- 
ment, which might change with a change of men. It 
was known to be the sense of the States they repre- 
sented; and consequently the hope could not be 
mdulged, that, on this subject, a future Congress 
would be more just, or would think more liberally. 
As, therefore, the establishment of that independence, 
for which they had fought and suflFered, appeared to 
become more certain, as the end of their toils ap- 
proached, the officers became more attentive to their 
own situation ; and the inquietude of the army increased 
with the progress of the negotiation of peace.^ * 

In the month of December, the officers in camp de- 
termined to address Congress on the subject of their 
grievances. A memorial was accordingly drawn up, 
which was understood to express the sentiments of the 
army. It contained a representation of the money 
actually due to them, a proposal that the half-pay for 
life should be commuted for a specific sum, and a re- 
quest that security should be given by the government 
for fulfilling its engagements. The commutation it 
was believed would be more generally acceptable to 
the public than half-pay for life, which had always been 
opposed by a strong party as favoring the idea of a 

• Marshall's Life of fTashington, VoL IV. p. 580. 



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^T.50.] LIFE OF WASHINGTON. 389 

had the greatest confidence, setting before them in a 
strong light the danger that would attend a rash or 



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390 LIFE OP WASHINGTON. [1782. 

tions to procure for them complete justice, as far as it 
could be done consistently with the great duty he owed 
to his country, and to the authority which every citizen 
was bound to respect 

After speaking these sentiments, and others of a 
similar tendency, suited to soothe their feelings and 



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^T.50.] LIFE OP WASHINGTON. 391 

threaten more serious and alarming consequences, than 
it is easy for me to describe or you to conceive. Hap- 
pily for us, the officers of highest rank and greatest 
consideration interposed ; and it was determined to 
address Congress in an humble, pathetic, and explicit 
manner. 

" While the sovereign power appeared perfectly well 
disposed to do justice, it was discovered that the States 
would enable them to do nothing ; and, in this state 
of affairs, and after some time spent on the business 
in Philadelphia, a report was made by the delegates of 
the army, giving a detail of the proceedings. Before 
this could be fully communicated to the troops, while 
the minds of all were in a peculiar state of inquietude 
and irritation, an anonymous writer, though he did not 
step forth and give his name boldly to the world, sent 
into circulation an address to the officers of the army, 
which, in point of composition, in elegance and force 
of expression, has rarely been equalled in the English 
language, and in which the dreadful alternative was 
proposed, of relinquishing the service in a body if the 
war continued, or retaming their arms in case of peace, 
until Congress shoiJd comply with all their demands. 
At the same time, and at the moment when their minds 
were inflamed by the most pathetic representations, a 
general meeting of the officers was summoned by 
another anonymous production. 

" It is impossible to say what would have been the 
consequences, had the author succeeded in his first 
plans. But, measures having been taken to postpone 
the meeting, so as to give time for cool reflection and 
counteraction, the good sense of the officers has ter- 
minated this affair in a manner, which reflects the 
greatest glory on themselves, and demands the highest 
expressions of gratitude from their country." 



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392 LIFE OP WASHINGTON. [1782. 

Thus, by the prudent measures of the Commander- 
m-chief, the excitement was allayed, and tranquillity 
was restored to the army. Nor did he delay to fulfil 
the pledge he had made, writing to Congress with 
an earnestness and force of argument, which showed 
him to be moved not less by his feelings, than by a 
sense of duty in asserting the rights and just claims 
of those, who, to use his own words, " had so long, so 
patiently, and so cheerfully sufiered and fought under 
his direction," and urging a speedy decision hi their 
favor. His representations and appeals were not dis- 
regarded. The subject was again considered in Con- 
gress, and the requisite number of States voted for the 
commutation of half-pay, and for the other provisions 
solicited by the officers in their memorial.* 

In a few days the joyful news arrived, that a prelim- 
inary treaty of peace had been signed at Paris. The 
intelligence was brought in a French vessel from Ca- 
diz, with a letter from the Marquis de Lafayette, who 
was then at that place, preparing for an expedition to 
the West Indies under Count d'Estaing. Shortly after- 
wards Sir Guy Carleton communicated the same, as 
from official authority, and announced a cessation of 
hostilities. A proclamation to this efiect was made to 
the American army on the 19 th of April, precisely 
eight years from the day on which the first blood was 
shed in this memorable contest at Lexington. 

Although the military labors of General Washington 
were now drawing to a close, m the attainment of the 
great object to which he had devoted himself with an 

• The anonymous addresses were from the pen of Major John Arm- 
strong, at that time an aid-de-camp to General Gates. They were writ- 
ten at the request of several officers, who believed that the tardy pro- 
ceedings of Congress, and the reluctance of that body to recognise the 
claims of the public creditors, called for a more decided expression of 
the sentiments of the army. 



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iBT.51.] LIFE OP WASHINGTON. 393 

ardor, constancy, endurance, and singleness of purpose, 
that had never been surpassed by any commander, yet 
his anxiety for the future was scarcely diminished. The 
love of liberty, which had prompted him to such trials 
and disinterested exertions in the cause of his country, 
was equally alive to the success of that cause in build- 
ing up the fabric of freedom on a firm and durable 
basis. In a letter to Colonel Hamilton, who was then 
a delegate in Congress from the State of New York, 
he said; "My wish to see the union of these States 
established upon liberal and permanent principles, and 
inclination to contribute my mite in pointing out the 
defects of the present constitution, are equally great 
All my private letters have teemed with these senti- 
ments, and, whenever this topic has been the subject 
of conversation, I have endeavoured to diffuse and en- 
force them ; but how far any further essay by me might 
be productive of the wished-for end, or appear to ar- 
rogate more than belongs to me, depends so much 
upon popular opinion, and the temper and dispositions 
of the people, that it is not easy to decide. I shall be 
obliged to you, however, for the thoughts, which you 
have promised me on this subject, and as soon as you 
can make it convenient No man in the United States 
is or can be more deeply impressed with the necessity 
of a reform in our present confederation than myself. 
No man perhaps has felt the bad effects of it more 
sensibly ; for to the defects thereof, and want of power 
in Congress, may justly be ascribed the prolongation 
of the war, and consequently the expenses occasioned 
by it More than half the perplexities I have expe- 
rienced in the course of my command, and almost the 
whole of the difficulties and distress of the army, have 
had their origin here. But still, the prejudices of some, 
the designs of others, and the mere machinery of the 
VOL. I. 50 



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394 LIFE OP WASHINGTON. [ITBa 

majority, make address and management necessary to 
give weight to opinions, which are to combat the doc- 
trines of those different classes of men in the field of 
politics/* To Lafayette he wrote; "We are now an 
independent people, and have yet to learn political 
tactics. We are placed among the nations of the earth, 
and have a character to establish; but how we shall 
acquit ourselves, time must discover. The probability 
is (at least I fear it), that local or State politics will 
interfere too much with the more liberal and extensive 
plan of government, which wisdom and foresight, freed 
from the mist of prejudice, would dictate ; and that we 
shall be guilty of many blunders in treading this bound- 
less theatre, before we shall have arrived at any per- 
fection in this art ; in a word, that the experience, which 
is purchased at the price of difficulties and distress, 
will alone convince us, that the honor, power, and true 
interest of this country must be measured by a Ccm- 
tinental scale, and that every departure therefrom weak- 
ens the Union, and may ultimately break the band 
which holds us together. To avert these evils, to form 
a new constitution, that will give consistency, stability, 
and dignity to the Union, and sufficient powers to the 
great council of the nation for general purposes, is a 
duty mcumbent upon every man, who wishes well to 
his country, and will meet with my aid as far as it can 
be rendered in the private walks of life.'* 

The preparation of a plan for a peace establishment, 
which had been solicited by Congress, and some pre- 
liminary arrangements with the British commander in 
regard to the evacuation of New York, occupied him 
several weeks. For these latter objects he had a per- 
sonal conference with Sir Guy Carleton at Orangetown. 

The circular letter, which he wrote to the governors 
of the States, as his last official communication, and 



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iET.51.] LIFE OF WASHINGTON. 395 

which was designed to be laid before the several legis- 
latures, is remarkable for its ability, the deep mterest 
it manifests for the officers and soldiers, who had fought 
the battles of their country, the soundness of its prin- 
ciples, and the wisdom of its counsels. Four great 
points he aims to enforce as essential in guiding the 
deliberations of every public body, and as claiming the 
serious attention of every citizen, namely, an indisso- 
luble union of the States ; a sacred regard to pub- 
lic justice ; the adoption of a proper military peace 
establishment; and a pacific and friendly disposition 
among the people of the States, which should induce 
them to forget local prejudices, and incline them to 
mutual concessions for the advantage of the commu- 
nity. These he calls the pillars by which alone inde- 
pendence and national character can be supported. 
On each of these topics he remarks at considerable 
length, with a felicity of style and cogency of reasoning 
in all respects worthy of the subject No public ad- 
dress could have been better adapted to the state of 
the times ; and, coming from such a source, its influence 
on the mmds of the people must have been effectual 
and most salutary. 

Many of the troops went home on furlough ; and 
General Washington, having little to do in camp till 
the arrival of the definitive treaty, resolved to employ 
the interval in making a tour to the northward, for 
the double purpose of gratiiymg his curiosity in visiting 
the scenes of the late military operations in that quar- 
ter, and of ascertaming fi*om observation, the natural re- 
sources of the country. In company with Governor 
Clinton he ascended the Hudson to Albany, and pro- 
ceeded thence over the battle-fields of Saratoga, as far 
as Ticonderoga and Crown Point Turning then to 
the Mohawk River, he extended his journey westward 



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396 LIFE OF WASHINGTON. [1783. 

to Fort Schuyler. He was absent torn Newburg nine- 
teen days. Ever regarding the condition and affairs 
of his country on a comprehensive scale, and fixing his 
thoughts on its importance as a nation, he saw, while 
on this tour, the immense advantages that would result 
from a water communication between the Hudson and 
the great Lakes, and believed in its practicability. His 
hopes and his anticipations have since been realized 
in the magnificent work, opening a passage for boats 
by a canal from the Hudson to Lake Erie, and effected 
by the enterprise and wealth of the State of New York. 
When he returned to Newburg, he found a letter 
from the President of Congress, asking his attendance 
on that assembly, then in session at Princeton. The ob- 
ject of this request was, to consult him on the arrange- 
ments for peace, and other public concerns. While 
he was making preparations to leave camp, Congress 
conferred on him new honors. It was voted unani- 
mously, that an equestrian statue of (Jeneral Washing- 
ton should be erected at the place where the residence 
of Congress should be established, and that it should 
be executed by the best artist in Europe, under the 
superintendence of the Minister of the United States 
at the Court of Versailles.* 



* The following is the description of this statue, ts contained in the 
Journals of Congress. ^ Resolved, that the statue be of bronze ; the 
General to be represented in a Roman dress, holding a truncheon in his 
right hand, and his head encircled with a laurel wreath ; the statue to 
be supported by a marble pedestal, on which are to be represented, in 
hasso-rUievo, the following principal events of the war, in which General 
Washington commanded in person ; namely, the evacuation of Boston ; 
the capture of the Hessians at Trenton ; the battle of Princeton ; the 
action of Monmouth; and the surrender of York. On the upper part 
of the front of the pedestal to be engraved as follows, *The United 
States in Congress assemhledj ordered this statue to he erected in the 
year of our Lord 1783, m honor qf George Washington^ the illustrious 
Commander-in-chief of the armies of the United States of America during 



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iET.51.] LIFE OF WASHINGTON. 397 

Leaving the army under the immediate command 
of General Knox, the officers higher in rank having 
gone home by permission, Washington obeyed the 
summons of Congress, and went to Princeton, where 
he was introduced into the assembly while in session 
by two of the members appointed for the purpose. 



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398 LIFE OF WASHINGTON. [1788. 

the thanks of the public. But to you, Sir, peculiar 
praise is due. Your services have been essential in 
acquiring and establishing the freedom and independ- 
ence of your country. They deserve the grateful ac- 
knowledgements of a free and independent nation." 
To this address Washington replied in the presence 



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iBT.51.] LIFE OP WASHINGTON. 399 

actions; under the persuasion, that the private virtues 
of economy, prudence, and industry, will not be less 
amiable in civil life, than the more splendid qualities 
of valor, perseverance, and enterprise were in the field. 
Every one may rest assured, that much, very much, 
of the future happiness of the officers and men will 
depend upon the wise and manly conduct, which shall 
be adopted by them when they are mingled with the 
great body of the community. And, although the Gen- 
eral has so frequently given it as his opinion in the 
most public and explicit manner, that, unless the prin- 
ciples of the Federal Government were properly sup- 
ported, and the powers of the Union increased, the 
honor, dignity, and justice of the nation would be lost 
for ever; yet he cannot help repeating, on this occa- 
sion, so interesting a sentiment, and leaving it as his 
last injunction to every officer and every soldier, who 
may view the subject in the same serious point of light, 
to add his best endeavours to those of his worthy fellow 
citizens towards effecting these great and valuable 
purposes, on which our very existence as a nation so 
materially depends.'* 

At length Sir Guy Carleton received orders from 
the ministry to evacuate New York, and gave notice 
to General Washington that he should soon be ready 
for that event. Delay had been occasioned by the 
want of transports in sufficient number to send to Nova 
Scotia the refugees, who had sought protection in New 
York during the war, and the large amount of goods, 
stores, and military supplies, which had accumulated 
in that city. Many of these persons would gladly 
have remained in the country, having property which 
they desired to recover, and relatives and friends whom 
they were reluctant to abandon ; but they were exiled 
by the laws of the States, and could not be admitted 



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400 LIFE OF WASHINGTON. [1783. 

to the privileges of a residence till these laws were 
repealed. 

Washington repaired to West Point, to which place 
General Knox had drawn the troops, that still remamed 
in the service. Arrangements were made with Gov- 
ernor Clinton, the chief magistrate of the State of New 
York, by which the city was to be delivered into his 
charge. A detachment of troops marched from West 
Point to Haerlem, and was joined there by General 
Washington and Governor Clinton. In the morning 
of the 25th of November, they advanced to the upper 
part of the city, where they continued till one o'clock, 
when the British parties retired from the posts in that 
quarter, and were followed by the American infantry 
and artillery, preceded by a corps of dragoons. Mean- 
time the British troops embarked. Possession being 
thus taken of the city, the military oflSicers, and the 
civil officers of the State, made a public entry. The 
Greneral and Governor rode at the head of the proces- 
sion on horseback. Then came in regular succession 
the lieutenant-governor and members of the council. 
General Knox and the officers of the army, the speaker 
of the assembly and citizens. They were escorted by 
a body of Westchester light-horse, as a compliment 
to the Governor and civil authority; the Continental 
military jurisdiction being supposed to have ceased, or 
at least to have been suspended in deference to the 
civil power of the State. Governor Clinton gave a 
public entertainment, with which the transactions of 
the day were closed. Perfect order and quiet pre- 
vailed from the beginning to the end, and no unto- 
ward incident occurred to mar the interest of an oc- 
casion, which had been so long wished for, and was 
so joyfully welcomed. 

A trial of feeling now awaited the Commander-in- 



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^T.51.] LIFE OF WASHINGTON. 401 

chief, which for the moment was more severe and 
painful, than any he had been called to bear. The 
time had arrived, when he was to bid a final adieu 
to his companions in arms, to many of whom he was 
bound by the strongest ties of friendship, and for all 
of whom he felt a lively gratitude and sincere regard. 
"This affecting interview took place on the 4th of 
December. At noon, the principal officers of the army 
assembled at Frances's tavern, soon after which, their 
beloved commander entered the room. His emotions 
were too strong to be concealed. Filling a glass, he 
turned to them and said, * With a heart full of love 
and gratitude, I now take leave of you ; I most de- 
voutly wish, that your latter days may be as prosper- 
ous and happy, as your former ones have been glo- 
rious and honorable.' Having drank, he added, *I 
cannot come to each of you to take my leave, but 
shall be obliged if each of you will come and take me 
by the hand.' General Knox, being nearest, turned to 
him. Washington, incapable of utterance, grasped his 
hand, and embraced him. In the same affectionate 
manner he took leave of each succeeding officer. 
The tear of manly sensibility was in every eye ; and 
not a word was articulated to interrupt the dignified 
silence, and the tenderness of the scene. Leaving 
the room, he passed through the corps of light infan- 
try, and walked to White Hall, where a barge waited 
to convey him to Paulus Hook. The whole company 
followed in mute and solemn procession, with dejected 
countenances, testifying feelings of delicious melancholy, 
which no language can describe. Having entered the 
barge, he turned to the company, and, waving his hat, 
bid them a silent adieu. They paid him the same 
affectionate compliment; and, after the barge had left 

VOL. I. 51 HH* 



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402 LIFE OP WASHINGTON. [1783. 

them, returned in the same solemn manner to the place 
where they had assembled.'** 

Congress had adjourned from Princeton to An- 
napolis in Maryland. Washington travelled slowly to 
that place, greeted everywhere on the road by the 
acclamations of his fellow citizens, and the most grati- 
fying tokens of their love and respect As he passed 
along, public addresses were presented to him by the 
legislatures of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Mary- 
land, the Philosophical Society and University in Phila- 
delphia, citizens of towns in their corporate capacity, 
religious societies, and various incorporated associations. 
Arrived at the seat of Congress, he informed the Pres- 
ident, that he was ready to resign the commission, 
with which he had been honored m the service of 
his country. This ceremony was performed in the 
Hall of Congress on the 23d of December, all the 
members and a large concourse of spectators being 
present. At the close of his address on this occasion, 
he said ; " Having now finished the work assigned 
me, I retire from the great theatre of action ; and, bid- 
ding an affectionate farewell to this august body, under 
whose orders I have so long acted, I here offer my 
commission, and take my leave of all the employ- 
ments of public life." He then advanced and gave 
his commission into the hands of the President, who 
replied to his address. The ceremony bemg ended, 
he withdrew from the assembly, divested of his offi- 
cial character, and sustaining no other rank than that 
of a private citizen. 

The next morning he left Annapolis and reached 
Mount Vernon the same day, having been absent in 
the command of the army somewhat more than eight 

• Marshall's lAft of FFashingloni 2d edition, Vol. IT. p. 57. 



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SLt 51.] LIFE OP WASHINGTON. 403 

years and a hal^ during which period he had never 
been at his own house except accidentally while on 
his way with Count de Rochambeau to Yorktown, 
and in retummg from that expedition. 



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404 LIFE OP WASHINGTON. [1784 



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iET.52.] LIFE OP WASHINGTON. 405 

practical agriculturist He was fond of adorning and 
improving his grounds as an amusement, and was de- 
voted to the cultivation of his farms, upon a thorough, 
economical, and systematic plan, both as a means of 
increasing his property, and as being suited to his 
tastes and early habits. 

His first care, after establishing himself at Mount 
Vernon, was to examine minutely mto the state of 
his private affairs, which had become deranged by his 
long absence and the disorders of the times. His 
fortune was ample for a republican citizen, and a man 
who derived neither consequence nor pleasure from 
display, but it had necessarily suffered a diminution 
during the war. Adhering rigidly to the resolution 
he had formed, when he accepted the command of 
the army, not to receive any remuneration from the 
public, either in the shape of pay or other pecuniary 
reward, he now considered it a duty to repair the 
losses he had sustained, as well by economy in his 
style of living, as by all the usual efforts to mcrease 
the productiveness of his estates. 

Some of his countrymen, estimating his services to 
the public at their just value, and knowbg the injury 
his private affairs had suffered in consequence of 
them, hoped to change his purpose of refusing pecu- 
niary compensation. A few days before he resigned 
his commission, the Supreme Executive Council of 
Pennsylvania sent the foUowmg instructions on this 
subject to the delegates in Congress from that State. 

" Though his Excellency General Washington pro- 
poses in a short time to retire, yet his illustrious ac- 
tions and virtues render his character so splendid and 
venerable, that, it is highly probable, the admiration 
and esteem of the world may make his life in a very 
considerable degree public, as numbers will be de- 



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406 LIFE OP WASHINGTON. [1784. 



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iET.52.] LIFE OF WASHINGTON. 407 

he, in writing to Lafayette, "I am become a private 
citizen, on the banks of the Potomac ; and, under the 
shadow of my own vine and my own fig-tree, free 
from the bustle of a camp, and the busy scenes of 
public life, I am solacing myself with those tranquil 
enjoyments, of which the soldier, who is ever in pur- 
suit of fame, the statesman, whose watchful days and 
sleepless nights are spent in devising schemes to pro- 
mote the welfare of his own, perhaps the ruin of other 
countries, as if this globe was insuflScient for us all, 
and the courtier, who is always watching the counte- 
nance of his prince, in hopes of catching a gracious 
smile, can have very little conception, I have not 
only retired from all public employments, but I am 
retiring within myself, and shall be able to view the 
solitary walk, and tread the paths of private life, with 
a heartfelt satisfaction. Envious of none, I am deter- 
mined to be pleased with all ; and this, my dear friend, 
being the order for my march, I will move gently down 
the stream of life, until I sleep with my fathers/' 

To General Knox he wrote; "I am just begbning 
to experience that ease and freedom from public cares, 
which, however desirable, takes some time to realize; 
for, strange as it may seem, it is nevertheless true, 
that it was not till lately I could get the better of my 
usual custom of ruminating, as soon as I waked in 
the morning, on the business of the ensumg day ; and 
of my surprise at finding, after revolving many things 
in my mind, that I was no longer a public man, nor 
had any thing to do with public transactions. I feel 
now, however, as I conceive a wearied traveller must 
do, who, after treading many a painful step with a 
heavy burden on his shoulders, is eased of the lat- 
ter, having reached the haven to which all the former 
were directed ; and from his house-top is looking 



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408 LIFE OF WASHINGTON. [1784. 

back, and tracing with an eager eye the meanders by 
which he escaped the quicksands and mires which lay 
in his way ; and mto which none but the all-powerful 



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Mr.Sl] LIFE OF WASHINGTON. 409 

sary baggage, and such supplies as could not be procur- 
ed in the wild and unsettled regions through which he 
was to pass. He crossed the mountains by the usual 
route of Braddock's Road, and spent several days in 
surveying and inspecting his lands on the Mononga- 
hela River, a part of which was occupied by settlers. 
His first intention was to descend the Ohio, as he 
had done in the year 1770, to the Great Kenhawa, 
where he owned a large tract of wild land ; but the 
hostile temper of the Indians rendering this expedition 
hazardous, and the motive not being strong enough 
to induce him to run risks, he advanced westward no 
farther than the M onongahela. Returning by a circu- 
itous route, he passed through the heart of the wil- 
derness, first ascending the Monongahela River, and 
thence traversing the country far to the south between 
the ridges of the Allegany Mountains, with the special 
view of deciding the question in his own mind, whether 
the Potomac and James Rivers could be connected 
by internal navigation with the western waters. He 
conversed on the subject with every intelligent per- 
son he met, and kept a journal in which he recorded 
the results of his observations and inquiries. 

His thoughts had been turned to this enterprise 
before the revolution; and, since the peace, he had 
used unwearied diligence by an extensive correspon- 
dence to procure facts respecting the rivers falling into 
the Ohio from the west, and into the great Lakes, 
and also the distances from various navigable points 
m those rivers and lakes to the head waters of the 
streams flowing towards the Atlantic. Soon after re- 
turning from his western tour, he communicated to 
the governor of Virginia the fruits of his investigations 
in a letter, one of the ablest, most sagacious, and most 
important productions of his pen. Presenting first a 

VOL. I. 52 II 



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410 LIFE OF WASHINGTON. [1784, 

clear state of the question, and showing the practica- 
bility of facilitating the intercourse of trade between 
the east and the west by improvmg and extending 
the water communications, he then proceeds by a train 
of unanswerable argument and iUustration to explain 
the immense advantages, that would arise from such 
a measure, m strengthening the union of the States, 
multiplymg the resources of trade, and promoting the 
prosperity of the country. 

•* I need not remark to you,** said he, " that the 
flanks and rear of the United States are possessed 
by other powers, and formidable ones too; nor how 
necessary it is to apply the cement of interest to bind 
all parts of the Union together by indissoluble bonds, 
especially that part of it, which lies immediately west 
of us, with the middle States. For what ties, let me 
ask, should we have upon those people 1 How en- 
tirely unconnected with them shall we be, and what 
troubles may we not apprehend, if the Spaniards on 
their right, and Great Britain on their left, instead of 
throwing stumbling-blocks in their way, as they now 
do, should hold out lures for their trade and alliance? 
What, when they get strength, which will be sooner 
than most people conceive (from the emigration of 
foreigners, who will have no particular predilection to- 
wards us, as well as from die removal of our own 
citizens), will be the consequence of their having 
formed close connexions with both or either of those 
powers, m a commercial way? It needs not, in my 
opmion, the gift of prophecy to foretell 

"The western States (I speak now from my own 
observation) stand as it were upon a pivot The touch 
of a feather would turn them any way. They have 
looked down the Mississippi, until the Spaniards, very 
impolitically I think for themselves, threw difficulties 



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A10 f.IFR OF VVASHINCTON TITftl 



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iBT. 53.] LIFE OF WASHINGTON. 416 

private letters to the governor, and to some of the 
principal members of the legislature ; declaring, at the 
same time, that he could not, consistently with his 
principles, accept the proffered gift in such a way, 
that he should derive from it any emolument to him- 



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416 LIFE OP WASHINGTON. [178«L 

of the advantages which would be derived fix)m it to 
the nation.* 

It may here be added, that he was a zealous ad- 
vocate for schools and literary institutions of every 
kind, and sought to promote them, whenever an op- 
portunity offered, by his public addresses and by pri- 
vate benefactions. In this spirit he accepted the chan- 
cellorship of William and Mary College, be'mg earnestly 
solicited by the trustees. In his answer to them, ac- 
cepting the appointment, he said ; " I rely fully in 
your strenuous endeavours for placing the system on 
such a basis, as will render it most beneficial to the 
State and the republic of letters, as well as to the 
more extensive interests of humanity and religion.** 
The chancellor's duty consisted chiefly in suggesting 
and approving measures for the management of the 
college, and in recommending professors and teachers 
to fill vacancies in the departments of instruction. 

The acts of charity by which he contributed fix)m 
his private means to foster education were not few 
nor small During many years, he gave fifty pounds 
annually for the instruction of indigent children in 
Alexandria ; and by will he left a legacy of four thou- 
sand dollars, the net income of which was to be used 
for the same benevolent object for ever. Two or three 
instances are known, in which he offered to pay the 
expenses of young men through their collegiate course. 
When General Greene died, he proposed to take under 
his protection one of the sons of his departed friend, 

* The donation to Washington College has been prodnctive, and the 
proceeds arising from it have contributed essential aid to that institu- 
tion. No part of the other fund has been as yet employed for literary 
purposes. The Potomac Company seems to have been merged in the 
Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Company. The shares appropriated by 
Washington's will are doubtless held in trust by the latter company 
for their destined object 



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iET.53.] LIFE OF WASHINGTON. 417 

pay the charges of his education, and bring him for- 
ward into life. Fortunately the circumstances, in which 
General Greene left his family, rendered this act of 
munificence and paternal care unnecessary. Other ex- 
amples might be cited; and, from his cautious habit 
of concealing from the world his deeds of charity, it 
may be presumed many others are unknown, in which 
his heart and his hand were open to the relief of m- 
digent merit. 

The Countess of Huntington, celebrated for her relig- 
ious enthusiasm and liberal charities, formed a scheme 
for civilizing and Christianizing the North American 
Indians. Being a daughter of the Earl of Ferrers, 
who was descended through the female line from a 
remote branch of the Washington family, she claimed 
a relationship to General Washington, and wrote to 
him several letters respecting her project of benevolence 
and piety in America. It was her design to form, at 
her own charge, in the neighbourhood of some of the 
Indian tribes, a settlement of industrious emigrants, who, 
by their example and habits, should gradually mtro- 
duce among them the arts of civilization ; and mis- 
sionaries were to teach them the principles of Chris- 
tianity. Lady Huntington proposed, that the govern- 
ment of the United States should grant a tract of 
wild lands, upon which her emigrants and missionaries 
should establish themselves. A scheme, prompted by 
motives so pure, and founded on so rational a basis, 
gained at once the approbation and countenance of 
Washington. He wrote to the President of Congress, 
and to the governors of some of the States, express- 
mg favorable sentiments of Lady Huntington's appli- 
cation. Political and local reasons mterfered to defeat 
the plan. In the first place, it was thought doubtful 
whether a colony of foreigners settled on the western 

VOL. I. 53 



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418 LIFE OF WASHINGTON. [1785. 

frontier, near the English on one side and the Span- 
iards on the other, would in the end prove conducive 
to the public tranquillity. And, in the next place, the 
States individually had ceded all their wild lands to the 
Union, and Congress were not certain that they pos- 
sessed power to grant any portion of the new territory 
for such an object Hence the project was laid aside, 
although Washington offered to facilitate it as far as he 
could on a smaUer scale, by allowing settlers to occu- 
py his own lands, and be employed according to Lady 
Huntington's views. 

In the spring of 1785, he was engaged for several 
weeks m planting his grounds at Mount Vernon with 
trees and shrubs. To this interesting branch of hus- 
bandry he had devoted considerable attention before 
the war, and during that period he had endeavoured to 
carry out his plans of improvement In some of his 
letters from camp, he gave minute directions to his 
manager for removing and planting trees; but want 
of skill and other causes prevented these directions 
from being complied with, except in a very imperfect 
manner. The first year after the war, he applied him- 
self mainly to farming operations, with the view of re- 
storing his neglected fields and commencing a regular 
system of practical agriculture. He gradually aban- 
doned the cultivation of tobacco, which exhausted his 
lands, and substituted wheat and grass, as better suit- 
ed to the soil, and m the aggregate more profitable. 
He began a new method of rotation of crops, in 
which he studied the particular qualities of the soil in 
the different parts of his farms, causing wheat, maize, 
potatoes, oats, grass, and other crops to succeed each 
other in the same field at stated times. So exact 
was he in this method, that he drew out a scheme in 
which all his fields were numbered, and the crops 



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^T.53.] LIFE OP WASHINGTON. 419 

assigned to^ them for several years in: advance. It 
proved so successful, that he pursued it to the end 
of his life, with occasional slight deviations by way 
of experiment. 

Having thus arranged and systematized his agri- 
cultural operations, he now set himself at work in 
earnest to execute his purpose of planting and adorn- 
ing the groimds around the mansion-house. In the 
direction of the left wing, and at a considerable dis- 
tance, was a vegetable garden; and on the right, at 
an equal distance, was another garden for ornamental 
shrubs, plants, and flowers. Between these gardens, 
in front of the house, was a spacious lawn, surrounded 
by serpentine walks. Beyond the gardens and lawn 
were the orchards. Very early in the spring he be- 
gan with the lawn, selecting the choicest trees from 
the woods on his estates, and transferring them to the 
borders of the serpentine walks, arranging them in 
such a manner as to produce symmetry and beauty 
in the general effect, intermingling in just proportions 
forest trees, evergreens, and flowering shrubs. He at- 
tended personally to the selection, removal, and plant- 
ing of every tree ; and his Diary, which is very par- 
ticular from day to day through the whole process, 
proves that he engaged in it with intense interest, and 
anxiously watched each tree and shoot till it showed 
signs of renewed growth. Such trees as were not found 
on his own lands, he obtained from other parts of the 
country, and at length his design was completed ac- 
cording to his wishes. 

The orchards, gardens, and green-houses were next 
replenished with all the varieties of rare fruit-trees, 
vegetables, shrubs, and flowering plants, which he could 
procure. This was less easily accomplished ; but, hor- 
ticulture being with him a favorite pursuit, he con- 



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iET.53.] LIFE OF WASHINGTON. 421 

rence to facts which often could not be easily ascer- 
tained. And then his correspondence on topics of 
public interest, friendship, and civility, with persons in 
Europe and America, was very extensive. Add to 
this, his private affairs, the keeping of accounts, and 
his letters of business. For more than two years after 
the close of the war he had no clerk or secretary, and 
he was therefore incessantly employed in writing. At 
length this labor was m some degree lessened by the 
aid of Mr. Lear, who became his secretary, and resided 
m his family many years on terms of mtimate friendship. 

The multitude of visiters at Mount Vernon increas- 
ed. They came from the Old World and the New. 
Among them were foreigners of distinction, particular- 
ly from France and other countries on the continent 
of Europe, bringing letters of introduction from the 
Marquis de Lafayette, Count de Rochambeau, Count 
d'Estaing, and some of the other general officers, who 
had served in America. The celebrated authoress 
and champion of liberty, Catharine Macaulay Graham, 
professed to have crossed the Atlantic for the sole 
purpose of testifymg m person her admiration of the 
character and deeds of Washington. His own coun- 
trymen, in every part of the Union, as may well be 
supposed, were not less earnest in their good wiD, 
or less ready to prove their respect and attachment 
Some came to keep alive friendship, some to ask coun- 
sel on public affairs, and many to gratify a natural 
and ardent curiosity. This throng of visiters neces- 
sarily demanded much of his time; but in other re- 
spects the task of receiving them was made easy by 
the admirable economy of the household under the 
management of Mrs. Washington. 

His habits were uniform, and nearly the same as they 
had been previously to the war. He rose before the sun, 

VOL. I. J J 



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422 LIFE OF WASHINGTON. [1785. 

and employed himself in his study, writing letters or 
reading, till the hour of breakfast When breakfast was 
over, his horse was ready at the door, and he rode to 
his farms and gave directions for the day to the man- 
agers and laborers. Horses were likewise prepared (ot 
his guests, whenever they chose to accompany him, or 
to amuse themselves by excursions into the country. 
Returning from his fields, and despatching such busi- 
ness as happened to be on hand, he went again to 
his study, and continued there till three o'clock, when 
he was summoned to dinner. The remainder of the 
day and the evening were devoted to company, or to 
recreation in the family circle- At ten he retired to 
rest. From these habits he seldom deviated, unless 
compelled to do so by particular circumstances. 

The State of Virginia having resolved to erect a 
statue in honor of General Washmgton, the governor 
was authorized to employ an artist in Europe to exe- 
cute it. Dr. Franklin and Mr. Jefferson, then in Paris, 
were commissioned to select the artist and make the 
contract. They chose M. Houdon, who was accounted 
one of the first statuaries of his time. It was the in- 
tention, that the statue should bear an exact resem- 
blance to the original M. Houdon engaged in the 
undertaking with great enthusiasm, and came to Amer- 
ica in the same vessel, that conveyed Dr. Franklin 
home from his long and brilliant mission to France. 
He was at Mount Vernon three weeks, in the month 
of October, 1785, and modelled a bust of (General 
Washington, as exact m all its lineaments as his skill 
could make it. The statue is a precise copy of the 
model, and is undoubtedly the best representation ci 
the original that exists.* 

* For a description of it, see above, page 397, note. — Innumerable 
casts have been taken from moulds fonned upon Houdon's bust It is 



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iET.Sa] LIFE OF WASHINGTON. 423 

However much Washington was devoted to his pri- 
vate pursuits, so congenial to his taste and so exacting 
in their claims on his attention, yet neither his zead 
for the public good, nor the importunity of his corre- 
spondents, would allow his thoughts to be withdrawn 
from the political condition of his country. His opin- 
ions were asked and his advice was sought by the 
patriotic leaders in the public councils, and by such 
eminent persons as had been his coadjutors in the 
great work of independence, who now looked with 
concern upon the system of national government, 
which was confessedly inadequate to stand by its 
own strength, much less to sustain the Union of the 
States. This union had hitherto been preserved by 
the pressure of war. It was rather the last resort of 
a stern necessity, than the spontaneous choice of all 
the thirteen republics. Peace had taken away its main 
props, and was fast dissolving the slender bands by 
which it was bound together. Congress was its cen- 
tre of action; and this body, imperfectly organized, 
possessing little real authority, never confident in what 
it possessed, and often distracted by party discords, 
had become almost powerless. The confederation had 
proved itself to be defective in many pomts absolutely 
essential to the prosperity of a national government, 
if not to its very existence. The most remarkable 
of these defects was the want of power to regulate 
commerce, and to provide for the payment of debts 

rare, however, to find an accurate one. The moulds have heen so oflen 
repeated from imperfect casts, with the attempts of bungling fabricators 
to correct or improve them, that the features have become changed and 
distorted, till very little of the original likeness remains, and all the spirit 
is gone. The busts commonly sold in Italy are from a different artist, 
probably some one who came to America after Houdon. Their resem- 
blance to Washington is scarcely perceptible. The best casts from 
Houdon's bust are those executed by Deville, in the Strand, London. 



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424 LIFE OF WASHINGTON. [1785. 

contracted by the confederacy. Without such power 
it was impossible to execute treaties, fulfil foreign en- 
gagements, or cause the nation to be respected abroad ; 
and equally so, to render justice to public creditors at 
home, and to appease the clamor of discontent and 
disaffection, which so glaring a breach of public fiaiith 
would naturally raise. 

It was evident to all, that an alarming crisis was 
near at hand, scarcely less to be dreaded than the 
war from which the country had just emerged, un- 
less a timely and effectual remedy could be provided. 
Washington's sentiments were often, freely, and feel- 
mgly expressed. "That we have it in our power,'* 
said he, " to become one of the most respectable na- 
tions upon earth, admits, in my humble opinion, of no 
doubt, if we would but pursue a wise, just, and liberal 
policy towards one another, and keep good fsdth with 
the rest of the world. That our resources are ample 
and increasing, none can deny ; but, while they are 
grudgingly applied, or not applied at all, we give a 
vital stab to public faith, and shall sink, m the eyes 
of Europe, into contempt It has long been a specu- 
lative question among philosophers and wise men, 
whether foreign commerce is of real advantage to any 
country; that is, whether the luxury, effemmacy and 
corruptions, which are introduced along with it, are 
counterbalanced by the convenience and wealth which 
it brings. But the decision of this question is of very 
litde importance to us. We have abundant reason to 
be convinced, that the spirit of trade, which pervades 
these States, is not to be restrained. It behoves us 
then to establish just principles ; and this cannot, any 
more than other matters of national concern, be done 
by thirteen heads, differently constructed and organ- 
ized. The necessity, therefore, of a controlling power 



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iET. 53.] LIFE OF WASHINGTON. 425 

is obvious ; and why it should be withheld is beyond 
my comprehension/' 

Again, in writmg to Mr. Jay; "To be fearful of 
mvesting Congress, constituted as that body is, with 
ample authorities for national purposes, appears to me 
the very climax of popular absurdity and madness. 
Could Congress exert them for the detriment of the 
public, without injuring themselves in an equal or 
greater proportion? Are not their interests insepar- 
ably connected with those of their constituents? By 
the rotation of appomtment, must they not mingle fre- 
quently with the mass of citizens ? Is it not rather 
to be apprehended, if they were possessed of the 
powers before described, that the individual members 
would be mduced to use them, on many occasions, 
very timidly and inefficaciously for fear of losing their 
popularity and future election ? We must take human 
nature as we find it Perfection falls not to the share 
of mortals. Many are of opinion, that Congress have 
too frequently made use of the suppliant, humble tone 
of requisition in applications to the States, when they 
had a right to assert their imperial dignity and com- 
mand obedience. Be that as it may, requisitions are 
a perfect nullity where thirteen sovereign, independ- 
ent, disunited States are in the habit of discussing 
and refusing compliance with them at their option. 
Requisitions are actually little better than a jest and 
a by- word throughout the land. If you tell the legis- 
latures they have violated the treaty of peace, and 
invaded the prerogatives of the confederacy, they 
will laugh in your face. What then is to be done? 
Things cannot go on in the same train for ever. It 
is much to be feared, as you observe, that the better 
kind of people, being disgusted with the circumstan- 
ces, will have their minds prepared for any revolution 

VOL. I. 54 J J* 



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426 LIFE OF WASHINGTON. [1785. 

whatever. We are apt to run from one extreme to 
another. To anticipate and prevent disastrous con- 
tingencies would be the part of wisdom and patriotism. 

"What astonishing changes a few years are capa- 
ble of producing. I am told, that even respectable 
characters speak of a monarchical form of government 
without horror. From thinking proceeds speaking ; 
thence to actmg is often but a single step. But how 
irrevocable and tremendous ! What a triumph for our 
enemies to verify their predictions ! What a triumph 
for the advocates of despotism to find, that we are 
incapable of governing ourselves, and that systems 
founded on the basis of equal liberty are merely ideal 
and fallacious ! Would to God, that wise measures 
may be taken in time to avert the consequences we 
have but too much reason to apprehend.^ 

Nor were his apprehensions confined to the defects 
m the system of government and the modes of ad- 
mmistering it. The intrigues of designing and un- 
prmcipled men, litde restrained by the arm of an effi- 
cient power, were still more to be feared. "There 
are errors in our national government," he said, " which 
call for correction; loudly, I would add. We are cer- 
tainly in a delicate situation; but my fear is, that the 
people are not yet sufficiently misled to retract fix)m 
error. To be plainer, I think there is more wicked- 
ness than ignorance mixed in our councils. Ignorance 
and design are difficult to combat. Out of these pro- 
ceed illiberal sentiments, improper jealousies, and a 
train of evils, which oftentimes in republican govern- 
ments must be sorely felt before they can be removed. 
The former, that is ignorance, being a fit soil for the 
latter to work in, tools are employed which a gener- 
ous mind would disdain to use; and which nothing 
but time, and their own puerile or wicked productions. 



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^T.53.] LIFE OP WASHINGTON. 427 

can show the mefficacy and dangerous tendency of. I 
thmk often of our situation, and view it with concern.'* 

Demagogues are the natural fruit of republics ; and 
the fabled Upas could not be more poisonous or des- 
olating to the soil from which it springs. Envious of 
his superiors, panting for honors which he is con- 
scious he can never deserve, endowed with no higher 
faculties than cunning and an impudent hardihood, 
reckless of consequences, and grovelling alike in spirit 
and motive, the demagogue seeks first to cajole the 
people, then to corrupt, and last of all to betray and 
ruin them. When he has brought down the high to 
a level with himself, and depressed the low till they 
are pliant to his will, his work is achieved. The 
treachery of a Cataline or a Borgia may be detected 
by a fortunate accident, and crushed in its infancy; 
but the demagogue, under his panoply of falsehood 
and chicane, may gradually sap the foundations of 
social order, and his country may be left with no other 
recompense for the ruin he has wrought and the mis- 
ery he has caused, than the poor consolation of exe- 
crating his name. 

In short, the embarrassments growing out of the 
weakness of the confederacy, the utter inability of 
Congress to collect the means for paying the public 
debts or to provide for their security, the jealousies 
of the States, and the factious spirit of individuals, 
filled the mind of every true friend to his country with 
gloom and despondency. Congress had recommended 
an impost, or rate of duties, which was to be uniform 
in all the States, and the proceeds of which were to 
be appropriated to relieve the national wants. The 
States came tardily into this measure, as it seemed 
to be yielding a power, which was claimed as a spe- 
cial prerogative of State sovereignty. The States, in 



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428 LIFE OF WASHINGTON. [1785. 

which commerce chiefly centred, were influenced by 
another motive. A larger amount would be drawn from 
the revenue in such States, than in others of equal or 
greater extent, population, and internal wealth. The 
fact was overlooked or disregarded, that the consumers, 
wherever they resided, actually paid the impost, and 
that the commercial States, by controlling the impost 
in their own ports, enjoyed advantages which the 
others did not possess. New York never acceded 
to the recommendation of Congress m such a manner 
as to make it operative ; and, as the success of the 
measure everywhere depended on the caprice of the 
legislatures, and a rigid system of collection faithfully 
administered, there was but little hope of its answering 
the important end of supplying the national treasury. 
A dissolution of the Union, or an early and thorough 
reform, was inevitable. The mode of effecting the lat- 
ter, and saving the republic, was a theme upon which 
Washington dwelt with deep solicitude in his corre- 
spondence and conversations with his friends. By a 
concurrence of favorable circumstances his advice and 
personal efforts were made available at the beginning 
of the train of events, which ended in the achievement 
of the constitution. "To form a compact relative to 
the navigation of the rivers Potomac and Pocomoke, 
and of part of the bay of Chesapeake, commissioners 
were appointed by the legislatures of Virgmia and 
Maryland, who assembled at Alexandria, in March, 
1785. While at Mount Vernon on a visit, they agreed 
to propose to their respective governments the ap- 
pointment of other commissioners, with power to make 
conjoint arrangements, to which the assent of Con- 
gress was to be solicited, for maintaining a naval force 
in the Chesapeake, and to establish a tariff* of duties 
on imports, to which the laws of both States should 



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iET.54.] LIFE OP WASHINGTON. 429 

conform. When these propositions received the as- 
sent of the legislature of Virginia, an additional reso- 
lution was passed, directing that which respected the 
duties on imports to be communicated to all the States 
in the Union, which were invited to send deputies to 
the meeting.^^* 

Accordingly, m January following, the Assembly of 
Virginia appointed commissioners, who were instructed 
to meet such as should be appointed by the other 
States, "to take into consideration the trade of the 
United States, to examine the relative situation and 
trade of the said States, to consider how far a uniform 
system in their commercial relations may be necessary 
to their common interest and their permanent harmo- 
ny, and to report to the several States such an act 
relative to this great object, as, when unanimously rati- 
fied by them, will enable the United States in Congress 
assembled eflfectually to provide for the same.'^ The 
commissioners met at Annapolis, in September, 1786. 
Five States only sent deputies, and some of these 
came with such limited powers, that it was soon ascer- 
tained that nothing could be done towards effecting 
the object for which they had come together. Their 
deliberations ended m a report to their respective 
States, m which they represented the defects of the 
federal system, and the necessity of a revision. They 
likewise recommended another convention of deputies 
from all the States, furnished with requisite powers, 
who should meet at Philadelphia on the second day 
of May. At the same time they sent a letter to Con- 
gress, accompanied with a copy of their report to the 
States. 

When the legislature of Vkginia assembled, the re- 
port of the deputies was taken into consideration, and 

• Marshall's lAft of Washington, 2d edition, Vol. II. p. 105. 



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430 LIFK OF WASHINGTON. [1786. 

it was resolved to appoint seven delegates to meet 
those from the other States in a general convention. 
Washington's name was put at the head of the list. 



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iET. 55.] LIFE OP WASHINGTON. 431 

to which he returned with such unfeigned satisfaction, 
and which no other consideration than the superior 
claims of his country could induce him to forego. On 
the present occasion he was not convmced, that his 
services would be more valuable than those of other 
citizens, whose ability and knowledge of public affairs, 
as his modesty would persuade him, better qualified 
them for the task of devising and maturing a system 
of civil government. 

There was another objection, also, which seemed 
to bear with considerable weight on his mind. At 
the close of the war some of the officers had formed 
themselves into an association, called the Society of 
the Cinci7i7iatij the object of which was to establish 
a bond of union and fellowship between the officers, 
who had served together during the war, and were 
then about to be separated, and particularly to raise 
a permanent fund for the relief of unfortunate mem- 
bers, their widows, and orphans. Although Washing- 
ton was not concerned in forming this society, yet 
he was well pleased with its benevolent design, and 
consented to be its president Unexpectedly to him, 
however, and to all others connected with it, a very 
general dissatisfaction arose throughout the country, in 
regard to some of the principles upon which the so- 
ciety was founded. It was to be hereditary in the 
families of the members ; it had a badge, or order, 
offensive in republican eyes, as imitating the European 
orders of knighthood ; it admitted foreign officers, who 
had served in America, and their descendants ; it pro- 
vided for an indefinite accumulation of funds, which 
were to be disposed of at the discretion of the members. 
Discontents grew into clamorous censures. Pamphlets 
were written against the society, and it was denounced 
as anti-republican, and a dangerous political engine. At 



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432 LIFE OP WASHINGTON. [1787. 

the first general meeting, which was held at Philadel- 
phia in May, 1784, Washington exerted himself suc- 
cessfully to have the most objectionable features alter- 
ed, and the articles of association were new modelled 
conformably to his suggestions. After these changes 
the alarmists were less vehement in their attacks ; but 
they were not silenced, and the society continued to 
be looked upon with jealousy and disapprobation. 

A second general meeting was to take place in 
Philadelphia at the time appointed for the assembling 
of the convention. Before receiving notice that he 
was chosen a delegate, Washington had written a 
circular letter to the branches of the Society in the 
different States, declaring his intention to resign the 
presidency, and giving reasons why it would be in- 
convenient for him to attend the general meeting. He 
thought himself thus placed in a delicate situation. 
Were he to be present at the convention, the mem- 
bers of the Cincinnati Society might suppose they had 
just grounds for suspecting his sincerity, or even of 
charging him with having deserted the officers, who 
had so nobly supported him during the war, and al- 
ways manifested towards him uncommon respect and 
attachment Having a grateful sense of their affection, 
and reciprocating m reality all their kind feelings, he 
was reluctant to put himself in a condition, by which 
their favorable sentiments would be altered, or their 
sensibility in any degree wounded. 

Again, some of his friends, in various parts of the 
country expressed themselves doubtingly in their let- 
ters, as to the propriety of his going to the conven- 
tion, and some advised against it. Many thought the 
scheme illegal, since there was no provision in the ar- 
ticles of the confederation for such a mode of revision, 
and it had not been proposed by Congress. It was 



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iET.55.] LIFE OP WASHINGTON. 433 

feared, therefore, that the doings of the convention 
would end in a failure, and perhaps in the disgrace 
of the delegates. They, who were perplexed with 
apprehensions of this sort, were unwilling that the bril- 
liant reputation of Washington should be put to the 
hazard of being tarnished by an abortive experiment, 
and believed the interests of the country required it 
to be held in reserve for a more fitting opportunity. 

These obstacles, formidable for a time, were at last 
removed. Congress took the subject into considera- 
tion, and recommended to the States to send delegates 
to the convention for the purposes mentioned m the 
Annapolis report Thus the measure was sanctioned 
by law. Congress likewise appointed the second 
Monday in May, as the day for the delegates to as- 
semble at Philadelphia. The time was fixed with ref- 
erence to the meeting of the Cincinnati, which was 
to be a week earlier, whereby General Washington 
would be enabled to join his brethren of that fi^ter- 
nity, should he think proper, and explam his motives 
for declining to be again elected president 

After these proceedings, and after it was found that 
the more enlightened part of the community very gen- 
erally approved the scheme of a convention, his fi-iends 
everywhere urged him to accept the appointment as 
one of the delegates from Virginia, and he acceded to 
their wishes. Another circumstance had much influ- 
ence m bringing him to this decision. It began to be 
whispered, that the persons opposed to the convention 
were at heart monarchists, and that they were glad to 
see the distractions of the country increasing, till the 
people should be weary of them, and discover their 
only hope of security to consist in a strong govern- 
ment, as it was gently called, or, in other words, a 
constitutional monarchy ; for no one was ever supposed 

VOL. I. 55 KK 



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434 LIFE OP WASHINGTON. [1787. 

to dream of a despotic power in America, It has been 
sadd and believed, that a small party, in despair of 
better things, actually meditated such a project, and 
turned their eyes to some of the royal families in Eu- 
rope for a sovereign suited to control the jarring ele- 
ments of republicanism in the United States. However 
this may be, it is certain that no imagined remedy could 
have been more severely reprobated by Washington. 
We have seen with what a stem rebuke the proposal 
to be a king was met by him, even when he literally 
had the power of the nation in his hands. From the 
begmning of the revolution to the end of his life, he 
was an uncompromismg advocate for a republican sys- 
tem. In the abstract he regarded it as the best ; and 
he had faith enough in the virtue of the people, and 
in the efficacy of their former habits, to convince him 
that it might be successfully established. At all events, 
he was for having the experiment thoroughly tried ; and 
his whole conduct proves, that, in regard to hunselfi 
he was ready to risk hb reputation, hb property, and 
his life, if necessary, in a cause so momentous to the 
welfare of his country and to the social progress of 
mankind. 

He did not go to the convention unprepared for 
the great work there to be undertaken. His knowl- 
edge of the institutions of his own country and of its 
political forms, both in their general character and mi- 
nute and affiliated relations, gained by inquiry and long 
experience, was probably as complete as that of any 
other man. But he was not satisfied with thb alone. 
He read the hbtory and examined the principles of 
the ancient and modem confederacies. There is a 
paper in his handwriting, which contains an abstract 
of each, and in which are noted, in a methodical order, 
their chief characteristics, the kmds of authwity they 



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^T.55.] LIFE OP WASHINGTON. 435 

possessed, their modes of operation, and their defects. 
The confederacies analyzed in this paper are the Ly- 
cian, Amphictyonic, Achaean, Helvetic, Belgic, and Ger- 
manic. He also read the standard works on general 



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436 LIFE OP WASHINGTON. [1787. 

stituted for the Articles of ConfederatioiL On the 17th 
of September, 1787, the constitution was signed by 
all the members present, except three, and forwarded 
with a letter to Congress. By that assembly it was 
sent to the State legislatures, for the purpose of being 
submitted in each State to a convention of delegates 
chosen by the people, in conformity with a resolve of 
the general convention. 

The constitution, as it came from the hands of its 
framers, was regarded by no one as theoretically per- 
fect To form a compact, which should unite thirteen 
independent republics into a consolidated government 
possessmg a control over the whole, was not a work 
of easy attainment, even if there had been a uniformity 
in the previously established systems of the several 
States. The difficulty was increased by the wide dif- 
ferences in their situation, extent, habits, wealth, and 
particular interests. Rights and privileges were to be 
surrendered, not always m proportion to the advan- 
tages which seemed to be promised as an equivalent 
In short, the constitution was an amicable compromise, 
the result of mutual deference and concession. Dr. 
Franklin said, in a short speech near the close of the 
convention; "I consent to this constitution, because I 
expect no better, and because I am not sure it is not 
the best The opinions I have had of its errors I 
sacrifice to the public good.'* And Washington wrote 
not long afterwards ; " There are some things in the 
new form, I will readily acknowledge, which never 
did, and I am persuaded never will, obtain my cordial 
approbation ; but I did then conceive, and do now 
most firmly believe, that in the aggregate it is the best 
constitution, that can be obtained at this epoch, and 
that this, or a dissolution, awaits our choice, and is the 
only alternative.'' Again; "It appears to me little short 



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iET.56.] LIFE OP Washington. 437 

of a miracle, that the delegates from so many States, 
different from each other in their manners, circmn- 
stances, and prejudices, should unite in forming a sys- 
tem of national government, so litde liable to well- 
founded objections. Nor am I yet such an enthusi- 
astic, partial, or undiscriminating admirer of it, as not 
to perceive it is tinctured with some real though not 
radical defects.'* Similar sentunents were doubdess 
entertained by all the prominent friends to the consti- 
tution. Faulty as it was, they looked upon it as the 
best that could be made, in the existing state of thmgs, 
and as such they wished it to be fairiy tried. It was 
moreover remarkable, that what one called a defect, 
another thought its most valuable part, so that m detaU 
it was ahnost wholly condemned and approved. This 
was a proof, that there was nothing in it essentially 
bad, and that it approached very nearly to a just me- 
dium. If we judge from the tenor of Washington's 
letters, after it was sent out to the world, he watch- 
ed its fate with anxious solicitude, and was animated 
with joy at the favor it gradually gamed with the 
public, and its ultimate triumph. It was universally 
agreed, that his name, affixed to the constitution, car- 
ried with it a most effective influence on the minds 
of the people. 

The legislatures of all the States, which had been 
represented in the general convention, directed State 
conventions to be assembled, consisting of delegates 
chosen by the people for the express purpose of de- 
ciding on the adoption of the constitution. The ratifi- 
cation of nme States was necessary to give it validity 
and effect The conventions in the several States met 
at different times, and it was nearly a year before the 
requisite number had passed a decision. In the mean 
time both the friends and opponents of the constitution 



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438 LIFE OP WASHINGTON. [1788. 

were extremely active. The weight of opinion, how- 
ever, was found everywhere to preponderate on the 
side of the constitution. In some of the States it was 
adopted unanimously, and in nearly all of them the 
majority was much larger than its most zealous advo- 
cates had ventured to hope. Amendments were re- 
commended in some instances, but in none was the 
ratification clogged by positive conditions of this sort 
The same spirit of compromise and mutual concession 
seemed to prevail, that had been manifested in the gen- 
eral convention. In fine, though the opposition was 
strong, and upheld by a few of the ablest and best 
men in the country, yet the popular voice was so de- 
cidedly expressed on the other side, as to afibrd the 
most encouraging presages of the successful operation 
of the new form of government. 

Each State convention transmitted to Congress a 
testimonial of its ratification, signed by all its members. 
When these testimonials had been received fit)m the 
requisite number of States, an act was passed by Con- 
gress appointing a day for the people throughout the 
Union to choose electors of a President of the United 
States, according to the constitution, and another day 
for the electors to meet and vote for the person of 
their choice. The former election was to take place 
on the first Wednesday in February, 1789, and the 
latter on the first Wednesday in March following. 

It was no sooner ascertained, that the constitution 
would probably be adopted, than the eyes of the nation 
were turned upon Washington, as the individual to 
be selected for that office, the highest, most honorable, 
and most responsible, that could be conferred by the 
suflbiges of a fi^e people. His reluctance to being far- 
ther engaged in public life was well known; but every 
one knew also, that he never refused to obey the csdl 



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Mr.Se.] LIFE OP WASHINGTON. 439 

of his country, or to make personal sacrifices for the 
public good. This was a ground of hope and of con- 
fidence. In hun the whole people would be united. 
As to other candidates, there would be differences of 
opinion, rivalships, and, it was feared, imhappy divisions, 
that might mar the work so successfully begun, and 



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440 LIFE OP WASHINGTON. [1789. 

to be too solicitous for reputation. Though I prize 
as I ought the good opinion of my fellow-citizens, yet, 
if I know myself I would not seek or retam popularity 
at the expense of one social duty or moral virtue. 

** While doing what my conscience informed me was 
right, as it respected my God, my country, and my- 
self, I could despise all the party clamor and mijust 
censure, which might be expected from some, whose 
personal enmity might be occasioned by their hostility 
to the government. I am conscious, that I fear alone 
to give any real occasion for obloquy, and that I do 
not dread to meet with unmerited reproach. And 
certam I am, whensoever I shall be convinced the 
good of my country requires my reputation to be put 
in risk, regard for my own fame will not come in 
competition with an object of so much magnitude. If 
I declined the task, it would lie upon quite another 
principle. Notwithstanding my advanced season of life, 
my increasing fondness for agricultural amusements, 
and my growing love of retirement, augment and con- 
firm my decided predilection for the character of a 
private citizen, yet it would be no one of these mo- 
tives, nor the hazard to which my former reputation 
might be exposed, nor the terror of encountering new 
fatigues and troubles, that would deter me from an ac- 
ceptance ; but a belief, that some other person, who had 
less pretence and less inclination to be excused, could 
execute all the duties full as satisfactorily as myself.'^ 

Suffice it to say, that his scruples yielded to the 
earnest solicitations of his friends, to mature reflection, 
and to the counsels of his unerring judgment. The 
day of election came, and George Washington was 
chosen, by the unanimous vote of the electors, and 
probably without a dissenting voice in the whole na- 
tion, the first President of the United States. 



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JBt.57.] life of WASHINGTON. 441 



CHAPTER XVI. 

lie receives official Notice of being chosen President — His Journey 
to the Seat of Government at New York. — His Oath of Office and 
Inaugural Speech. — Acquaints himself with the State of public Af- 
fairs. — His Attention to his private Pursuits. — His Manner of re- 
ceiving Visits and entertaining Company. — Afflicted with a severe 
Illness. — Death of his Mother. — Executive Departments formed, and 
the Officers appointed. — Judiciary System organized. — Washington's 
Opinion of the Supreme Court — His Rule in Appointments to Office. 

It being known that t|ie choice of the people had 
fallen on General Washington for President, he made 
preparations to begin the duties of the oflSce as soon 
as his election should be notified to him by the proper 
authority. The 4th of March was assigned as the day 
for the meeting of Congress, but a quorum did not 
come together till a month later. The votes of the 
electors were then opened and counted ; and a special 
messenger was despatched to Mount Vernon with a 
letter from the President of the Senate to General 
Washington, conveying official intelligence of his elec- 
tion. John Adams was at the same time declared to 
be chosen Vice-President of the United States. Two 
days after receiving the notification, Washington left 
home for New York, which was then the seat of 
Congress. 

His feelings on this occasion are indicated in the fol- 
lowing extract from his Diary, written on the day of his 
departure. "About ten o^clock I bade adieu to Mount 
Vernon, to private life, and to domestic felicity ; and, 
with a mind oppressed with more anxious and painful 
sensations than I have words to express, set out for 
New York in company with Mr. Thomson and Colonel 
Humphreys, with the best disposition to render ser- 

voL. I. 56 



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^T 57.] LIFE OF WASHINGTON. 443 

advanced to the house prepared for the reception of the 
President The day was passed in festivity and joy. 



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444 LIFK OF WASHINGTON. [1789. 

voluntary suffrage and possessing the good wbhes of 
every American citizen. Yet he was aware, that the 
task he had undertaken was one of no common re- 
sponsibility or easy execution. The hopes and expec- 
tations of his countrj-men, he knew, were in proportion 
to the unanimity with which they had crowned him 
with honors, and laid the burden of their public cares 
on his shoulders. A new system of government was 
to be put in action, upon which depended the destiny 
of his country, and with the good or ill success of 
which his future reputation would be identified. 

In his inaugural speech, after expressing his deep 
sense of the magnitude of the trust confided to him, 
the struggles his mind had undergone in deciding to 
accept it, and a consciousness of his deficiencies, he 
added ; " In this conflict of emotions, all I dare aver 
is, that it has been my faithful study to collect my duty 
from a just appreciation of every circumstance by which 
it might be affected. All I dare hope is, that, if in 
accepting this task I have been too much swayed by 
a grateful remembrance of former instances, or by an 
affectionate sensibility to this transcendent proof of the 
confidence of my fellow-citizens, and have thence too 
little consulted my incapacity, as well as disinclination 
for the weighty and untried cares before me, my error 
will be palliated by the motives which misled me, and 
its consequences be judged by my country with some 
share of the partiality in which they originated.*' With 
these sentiments, and with fervent supplicatiqns to the 
Almighty Being, whose guidance and overruling Provi- 
dence he acknowledged in all the events of his life, 
he commenced the arduous duties of chief magistrate 
of the nation. In conformity with the rule to which 
he had hitherto adhered, he gave notice to Congress, 
that he should accept no other compensation for his 



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iET.57.] LIFE OP WASHINGTON. 445 



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446 LIFE OF WASHINGTON. [1789. 

works of the best writers on the subject, which he 
read with diligence and reflection, drawing from them 
such scientific principles and practical hints, as he could 
advantageously use in improving his modes of agricul- 
ture. He was resolved to mature his designs, and in 
the intervals of public duties to bestow a part of his 
leisure upon that object. With his chief manager at 
Mount Vernon he left full and minute directions in 
writing, and exacted 6rom him a weekly report, m which 
were registered the transactions of each day on all the 
farms, such as the number of laborers employed, their 
health or sickness, the kind and quantity of work ex- 
ecuted, the progress in planting, sowing, or harvesting 
the fields, the appearance of the crops at various stages 
of their growth, the efiects of the weather on them, 
and the condition of the horses, cattle, and other live 
stock. By these details he was made perfectly ac- 
quainted with all that was done, and could give his 
orders with almost as much precision as if he had 
been on the spot. 

Once a week regularly, and sometimes twice, he 
wrote to the manager, remarking on his report of the 
preceding week, and adding new directions. These 
letters frequently extended to two or three sheets, and 
were always written with his own hand. Such was 
his laborious exactness, that the letter he sent away 
was usually transcribed from a rough draft. A press 
copy was taken of the transcript, which was carefully 
filed with the manager's report for his future inspec- 
tion. In this habit he persevered with unabated dili- 
gence through the whole eight years of his Presidency, 
except during the short visits he occasionally made to 
Mount Vernon, at the close of the sessions of Con- 
gress, when his presence could be dispensed with at 
the seat of government He moreover mamtained a 



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448 LIFE OP WASHINGTON. [1789. 

Every Tuesday, between the hours of three and four, 
he was prepared to receive such persons as chose to 
call. Foreign ministers, strangers of distinction, and 
citizens, came and went without ceremony. The hour 
was passed in free conversation on promiscuous topics, 
in which the President joined. Every Friday afternoon 
the rooms were open in like manner for visits to Mrs. 
Washington, which were on a still more sociable foot- 
ing, and at which General Washington was always 
present. These assemblages were in the nature of 
public levees, and they did not preclude such visits of 
civility and friendship, between the President's family 
and others, as is customary in society. On affairs of 
business by appointment, whether with public officers 
or private citizens, the President was always ready to 
bestow his time and attention. He accepted no mvi- 
tations to dinner, but mvited to his own table foreign 
ministers, officers of the government, and strangers, in 
such numbers at once as his domestic establishment 
would accommodate. On these occasions there was 
neither ostentation nor restraint, but the same simplicity 
and ease with which his guests had been entertained 
at Mount Vernon. 

No visits were received on Sundays. In the morn- 
ing he uniformly attended church, and in the after- 
noon he retired to his private apartment. The even- 
ing was spent with his family, and then an intimate 
friend would sometimes call, but promiscuous company 
was not admitted.* 

Having laid down these general rules, which soon 
became known to the public, he found relief from a 
heavy tax upon his time, and more leisure for a faithful 
discharge of his duties. In the course of the summer, 

• For an account of his religious opinions and habits, see Vol. XII. 
p. 399. 



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iET. 57.] LIFE OF WASHINGTON. 449 

however, he was seized with a violent malady, which 
reduced him very low, and which for a few days was 
thought to endanger his life. He was confined six 
weeks to his bed, and it was more than twelve before 
his strength was restored. A constitution naturally 
strong, and the attendance of Dr. Bard, a physician 
equally eminent for the excellence of his character and 
skill in his profession, enabled him to rise from an iUness 
the most psdnful and trymg that he had ever endured. 
From the effects of it he never entirely recovered. 

He had hardly gamed strength to go abroad, when 
he heard of the death of his mother, who died in 
August, at the age of eighty-two. Writing to his sis- 
ter on this occasion he said ; " Awful and affecting 
as the death of a parent is, there is consolation in 
knowing, that Heaven has spared ours to an age be- 
yond which few attain, and favored her with the full 
enjoyment of her mental faculties, and as much bodily 
strength as usually falls to the lot of fourscore. Under 
these considerations, and a hope that she is translated 
to a happier place, it is the duty of her relatives to 
yield due submission to the decrees of the Creator." 
A short time before he left Mount Vernon for New 
York, he made a visit to his mother at Fredericksburg, 
the place of her residence. She was then smking 
under a disease, which he foresaw would prove fatal; 
and he took an affectmg and final leave of her, con- 
vinced he should never see her again. She had been 
a widow forty-six years. Through life she was re- 
markable for vigor of mmd and body, simplicity of 
manners, and uprightness of character. She must have 
felt a mother's joy at the success and renown of her 
son, but they caused no change in her deportment or 
style of living. Whenever he visited her at her dwel- 
ling, even in the height of his greatness, he literally 

VOL. I. 57 LL* 



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450 LIFE OP WASHINGTON. [1789. 

returned to the scenes and domestic habits of his boy- 
hood Neither pride nor vanity mingled with the feel- 
ings excited by the attentions she received as the 
mother of Washington, She listened to his praises and 
was silent, or added only that he had been a good son, 
and she believed he had done his duty as a man. 

As soon as he was established in his office, Wash- 
ington introduced strict habits of economy into his 
household, which were preserved without essential 
change to the end of his public life. The whole was 
under the care of a steward, to whom he gave general 
directions. All other persons connected with the es- 
tablishment were accountable to the steward, but each 
of them was required to keep an exact record of the 
purchases and expenditures made by him, specifying 
every particular. These accounts, with tradesmen's 
bills and other vouchers, were presented once a week 
to Washington, who inspected them minutely, and 
certified with his own signature that they were ap- 
proved. By this method he was enabled to ascertain 
at any moment the precise state of his pecuniary af- 
fairs, and to guard against extravagance and waste. 
He might say with Seneca ; " I keep an account of 
my expenses ; I cannot affirm that I lose nothing, but 
I can tell you what I lose, and why, and in what 
manner." The salary of the President, as fixed by law, 
was twenty-five thousand dollars a year. But with 
the most rigid economy his expenses were seldom 
within this limit, and he was of course obliged to draw 
on his private fortune to make up the deficiency. 

Congress continued m session till near the end of 
September, when they adjourned for three months. 
They had been mostly occupied in passing laws for 
the organization of government, the administration of 
justice, and the raisbg of a revenue. Mercantile reg- 



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iET.57.1 LIFE OF WASHINGTON. 451 

ulations were established, imposing duties on tonnage 
and imported goods. Amendments to the constitution 
were framed, and recommended to the States for adop- 
tion. Three executive departments were formed, at 



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452 LIFE OP WASHINGTON. [1789. 

integrity, firmness, and patriotism were well known to 
Washington, after a thorough trial and familiar acquaint- 
ance in the revolution; and they were scarcely less 
known or less appreciated by his countrymen at large. 
In the convention, Hamilton disapproved and opposed 
some of the principal articles of the constitution ; and 
the more praise is due to him, that, after it was carried 
by a majority, and was proved to be the best that 
could be hoped for in the circumstances of the times, 
he gave up his predilections, joined heartily with its 
friends, and put into their scale the whole weight of 
his great powers of eloquence and argument, both in 
debate and by the use of his pen. Henry Knox was 
continued secretary of war, which station he had held 
under the confederation. As an officer, a man, and a 
friend, he was esteemed by Washington ; and his steady 
principles and public services had gained for him a 
general confidence. The post of attorney -general was 
conferred on Edmund Randolph, a gentleman distin- 
guished by success in his profession at the bar, and 
by having been governor of Virginia, and a conspicuous 
member of the convention that framed the constitution. 
Such were the heads of the executive departments, 
and such the composition of the council, on which the 
President was mainly to rely for advice and support. 
For administering justice, in the execution of the 
laws for national purposes, the constitution had pro- 
vided, that there should be a supreme court, and such 
inferior courts as congress should establish. In organ- 
izmg the judiciary system, it was decided that the 
supreme court should consist of a chief justice and 
five associate justices, and that there should be dis- 
trict courts, with one judge in each State. An asso- 
ciate justice and a district judge constituted a circuit 
court. Washington's opinion of the importance of the 



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iET.57.] LIFE OF WASHINGTON. 453 

supreme court is forcibly described in his own lan- 
guage. " Impressed with a conviction/' said he, " that 
the due administration of justice is the firmest pillar 
of good government, I have considered the first ar- 
rangement of the judicial department as essential to 
the happiness of the country, and to the stability of its 
political system. Hence the selection of the fittest 
characters to expound the laws, and dispense justice, 
has been an invariable object of my anxious concern." 
And agam, in giving notice to Mr. Jay of his appoint- 
ment as chief justice ; " I have a full confidence, that 
the love which you bear to our country, and a desire 
to promote the general happiness, will not suffer you 
to hesitate a moment to bring into action the talents, 
knowledge, and integrity, which are so necessary to 
be exercised at the head of that department, which 
must be considered the key-stone of our political fa- 
bric." ' 
forming 
and as < 
entertain 
judges o 
ous to s 
for judic 
experien( 

supreme court, he consulted alike the public good, the 
dignity of the court, and his own feelings. No man 



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iET.57.] LIFE OF WASHINGTON. 465 

which I have been necessitated to give in my own 
hand, an almost insupportable burden to me. 

" The points m which all these answers have agreed 
in substance are, that, should it be my lot to go again 
into public office, I would go without being under any 
possible engagements of any nature whatsoever; that, 
so far as I knew my own heart, I would not be in 
the remotest degree influenced, in making nominations, 
by motives arising from the ties of family or blood ; 
and that, on the other hand, three things, in my opin- 
ion, ought principally to be regarded, namely, the fit- 
ness of characters to fill offices, the comparative claims 
from the former merits and suflTerings in service of the 
diflerent candidates, and the distribution of appoint- 
ments in as equal a proportion as might be to per- 
sons belonging to the different States in the Union. 
Without precautions of this kind, I clearly foresaw the 
endless jealousies, and possibly the fatal consequences, 
to which a government, depending altogether on the 
good-will of the people for its establishment, would 
certainly be exposed in its early stages. Besides, I 
thought, whatever the effect might be in pleasing or 
displeasmg any individuals at the present moment, a 
due concern for my own reputation, not less decisive- 
ly than a sacred regard to the interests of the com- 
munity, required, that I should hold myself absolutely 
at liberty to act, while in office, with a sole reference 
to justice and the public good.'* 

In practice he verified these declarations, acting in 
every case with perfect independence, looking first to 
the national interests and next to the best means of 
promoting them, and admitting no other ground of 
preference between candidates, whose pretensions were 
in other respects equal, than that of former efforts or 
sacrifices in serving their country. 



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466 LIFE OF WASHINGTON. [1789. 



CHAPTER XVII. 

His Journey through the Eastern States. — Letter from Mrs. Washington. 
— System of Funding the public Debts. — Place for the permanent 
Seat of Government agreed upon. — The President visits Rhode Island 
and Mount Vernon. — Foreign Relations of the United States. — 
France, England, Spain. — Indian War. — Washington's Policy re- 
specting the Indians. — Congress meets at Philadelphia. — A National 
Bank established. — Tax on distilled Spirits. — The President's Tour 
through the Southern States. — Apportionment Bill. — Parties and their 
Causes, — Dissensions between the Secretary of State and the Secre- 
tary of the Treasury. — Washington's Attempts to reconcile them. 

For some time it had been the President's inten- 
tion in the recess of Congress to make a tour through 
the eastern States, as well for the reestablishment of 
his health, as for observing the condition of the peo- 
ple, and the general disposition in regard to the new 
form of government. He anticipated pleasure also in 
reviewing the scenes of his first military campaign as 
Commander-in-chief, and in meeting the associates, who 
had contributed to lessen his toils and invigorate his 
spirit in times of peril and despondency. About the 
middle of October he left New York, accompanied 
by his two secretaries, Mr. Lear and Mr. Jackson, and 
he was absent a month. He travelled in his own 
carriage, and proceeded by way of New Haven, Hart- 
ford, Worcester, Boston, Salem, and Newburyport, as 
far as Portsmouth in New Hampshire. He returned 
by a different route through the interior of the coun- 
try to Hartford, and thence to New York. 

Such was the enthusiasm, which was now felt by all 
classes of the community in regard to Washington, an 
enthusiasm inspired by his virtues and his fame, that it 
was impossible for him to move in any du-ection with- 
out drawing around him thousands of spectators, eager 



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^T.57.] LIFE OP WASHINGTON. 457 

to gratify their eyes with a sight of his person, to 
greet him with acclamations of joy, and to exhibit tes- 
timonies of their respect and veneration. Men, women, 
and children, people of all ranks, ages, and occupa- 
tions, assembled from far and near at the crossings 
of the roads and other public places, where it was 
known he would pass. Military escorts attended him 
on the way, and at the principal towns he was re- 
ceived and entertained by the civil authorities. Ad- 
dresses were as usual presented to him by corporate 
bodies, religious societies, and literary institutions, to 
which he returned appropriate answers. 

This journey was in all respects satisfactory to him, 
not more as furnishing proofs of the strong attach- 
ment of the people, than as convincing him of the 
growmg prosperity of the country, and of the favor 
which the constitution and the administration of gov- 
ernment were gaining in the public mind. He was 
happy to see, that the effects of the war had almost 
disappeared, that agriculture was pursued with ac- 
tivity, that the harvests were abundant, manufactures 
increasing, the towns flourishing, and commerce be- 
coming daily more extended and profitable. The con- 
dition of society, the progress of improvements, the 
success of mdustrious enterprise, all gave tokens of 
order, peace, and contentment, and a most cheering 
promise for the future.* 

• The reader cannot fail to be interested in this place with an ex- 
tract from a letter written by Mrs. Washington to Mrs. Warren soon 
after the President's return from his tour. So little remains, which is 
known to have come from the pen of this lady, that it would be an act 
of injustice to her memory to withhold a specimen so creditable to her 
understanding, her heart, and her views of life, as the following, which 
is transcribed from the original 

"Your very friendly letter of last month has afforded much more 
satisfaction, than all the formal compliments and empty ceremonies of 
mere etiquette could possibly have done. I am not apt to forget the 

VOL.1. 58 MM 



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458 LIFE OF WASHINGTON. [1790. 

The time for the adjournment of Congress having 
expired, the two houses reassembled in the first week 
of January. The President met them in the senate- 
chamber, and delivered his speech at the opening of 
the session. Such was the custom during Washing- 
ton's administration ; but it was afterwards changed, and 
the President communicated with Congress only by 
written messages. This was likewise Washington's 
practice, except at the beginning of a session, when he 
addressed the two houses in person. These addresses 
were called speeches^ and other communications were 
designated as messages. At this time, after congratu- 
lating Congress on the prosperous condition of the 
country, and the favor with which their previous doings 
had been received, he recommended several subjects 

feelings, which have been inspired by my former society with good ac- 
quaintances, nor to be insensible to their expressions of gratitude to the 
President ; for you know me well enough to do me the justice to believe, 
that 1 am fond only of what comes from the heart Under a conviction, 
that the demonstrations of respect and affection to him originate in that 
source, I cannot deny, that I have taken some interest and pleasure in 
them. The difficulties, which presented themselves to view on his first 
entering upon the Presidency, seem thus to be in some measure sur* 
mounted. It is owing to the kindness of our numerous friends in all 
quarters, that my new and unwished-for situation is not indeed a burden 
to me. When 1 was much younger, I should probably have enjoyed the 
innocent gayeties of life as much as most persons of my age ; but I had 
long since placed all the prospects of my future worldly happiness in 
the still enjoyments of the fireside at Mount Vernon. 

** I little thought, when the war was finished, that any circumstances 
could possibly happen, which would call the General into public life 
again. I had anticipated, that from that moment we should be suffered 
to grow old together in solitude and tranquillity. That was the first and 
dearest wish of my heart I will not, however, contemplate with too 
much regret disappointments, that were inevitable, though his feelings 
and my own were in perfect unison with respect to our predilection for 
private life. Yet I cannot blame him for having acted according to his 
ideas of duty in obeying the voice of his country. The consciousness 
of having attempted to do all the good in his power, and the pleasure of 
finding his fellow-citizens so well satisfied with the disinterestedness of 
his conduct, will doubtless be some compensation for the great sacrifices, 



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iET.58.] LIFE OF WASHINGTON. 459 



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460 LIFE OF WASHINGTON. [1790. 

national honor and prosperity, and the Secretary of the 
Treasury was directed to prepare a plan for the pur- 
pose, and report it to the house at the next session. 
The national debt had its origin chiefly in the Revolu- 
tion. It was of two kinds, foreign and domestic. The 
foreign debt amounted to nearly twelve millions of 
dollars, and was due to France, the Hollanders, and 
a very small part to Spain. The domestic debt, due 
to individuals in the United States for loans to the 
government and supplies furnished to the army, was 
about forty-two millions. These debts had been at- 
tracted by Congress, and were acknowledged to be a 
national charge. There was another description of 
debts, amounting by estimate to about twenty-five 
millions of dollars, which rested on a different footing. 
The States individually had constructed works of de- 
fence within their respective limits, advanced pay and 
bounties to Continental troops and militia, and supplied 
provisions, clothmg, and munitions of war. The sec- 
retary proposed, that all the domestic debts, including 
those of the particular States, should be funded, and 
that the nation should become responsible for their 
payment to the fiill amount 

The report was able, perspicuous, and comprehen- 
sive, embracing a complete view of the subject, and 
containing arguments of great cogency in support of 
the plan suggested. As to the foreign debt, there was 
no question in the mind of any one, that it ought to be 
discharged according to the strict letter of the con- 
tracts, but in regard to the domestic debts a difference 
of opmion prevailed. The secretary endeavoured to 
prove, that no distinction should be admitted, that the 
expenditures had all been made for national objects, 
and that in equity the public faith was solemnly pledged 
for their reimbursement. The obligation was increased 



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iGT.58.] LIFE OP WASHINGTON. 461 

by their being "the price of liberty," without which 
the nation itself could never have attained an inde- 
pendent existence. He argued that the policy of the 
measure was not less obvious than its justice, that 
public credit was essential to the support of government 
under any form, and that this could be maintained only 
by good faith in all transactions, and by honorably fulfil- 
ling engagements. Who would confide in a govern- 
ment, that had refused to pay its debts, or respect a 
nation that had shown a disregard to the principles, 
which constitute the cement of every well-ordered com- 
munity 1 

When the report was considered in Congress, it gave 
rise to warm and protracted debates. The opponents 
of the secretary's plan were not without plausible rea- 
sons. As to the debt contracted by Congress, it was 
said that the usual maxims could not properly be ap- 
plied. The evidences of this debt consisted in a 
paper currency and certificates, which, as there was no 
gold or silver, the creditors were fi^m the necessity of 
the case obliged to take. This paper had in most 
cases passed through many hands, and was immensely 
depreciated below its nominal value. The original 
creditors, therefore, and the subsequent holders, had 
lost in proportion to the scale of depreciation. Hence 
the proposal to assume the whole debt, as it stood on 
the face of the paper, and pay it to the present holders, 
was said to be inequitable, inasmuch as these had pur- 
chased it at the depreciated value, and had no claim 
to be remunerated for the losses of the previous holders. 

Mr. Madison proposed a discrimination, by which the 
purchasers should be paid a certam portion, and the 
original holders the remamder. This was objected to 
as unjust and impracticable. By the form and tenor 
of the certificates, the debt was made payable to the 

MM* 



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462 LIFE OP WASHINGTON. [1790. 

original creditor or bearer. On these terms they had 
been sold, and the sellers had relinquished all their 
claims to the purchasers for what was deemed an 
equivalent When the transfers were made, it was 
understood by both parties to be on this principle, and 
the purchaser took the risk of eventual payment It 
was clear, also, that it would be impossible to make the 
discrimination, except to a limited extent and in a 
partial manner, since the numerous transfers of the 
original creditors could not be ascertained and exam- 
ined ; and even at best no provision was oflfered for 
the losses of the intermediate holders by the gradual 
depreciation. After a long debate in the House of 
Representatives, this scheme was rejected. 

Next came up the State debts ; and the proposition 
to assume them created still greater divisions and heats 
in Congress, and much excitement abroad. It brought 
into action all the local prejudices and high-toned doc- 
trines of State rights and State sovereignty, which had 
been so heavy a stumblingblock in the way of union and 
concord from the beginning of the Revolution. The 
debts of the respective States were very unequal in 
amount This led to aa investigation of the services 
rendered by each, and to mvidious comparisons. The 
project was opposed as unconstitutional and unjust 
Congress, it was said, had no power to take this burden 
upon the nation. Such an assumption of power was 
moreover an encroachment upon the sovereignty of 
the States, tending to diminish their importance, and 
lead to a consolidation destructive of the republican 
system. Each State was responsible for the debts it 
had contracted, and there was no reason for taxing 
the States, which owed litde, to pay a portion of the 
large debt of others. 

It was argued in reply, that, as the expenditures had 



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iET.58.] LIFE OP WASHINGTON. 463 

all been for the common cause of the nation, they came 
strictly within the legitimate control of Congress ; and 
also, as the constitution had transferred to the national 
legislature the entire power of raising funds from duties 
on imports and the sales of public lands, the principal 



would be derived from it as an active capital for imme- 



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464 LIFE OF WASHINGTON. [1790. 

was it to be expected that the adversaries of the plan, 
and these a large minority, would readily change their 
opinion after the strenuous opposition they had shown, 
or cease from their hostility. The President expressed 
no sentiments on the subject while it was under debate 
in Congress, but he approved the act for funding the 
public debt, and was undoubtedly, from conviction, a 
decided friend to the measure. 

Another important pomt, upon which Congress imder 
the old Confederation had been for a long tune divided, 
was settled in the course of this session. Local inter- 
ests, and other considerations, made it difficult to agree 
on the place for the permanent seat of government 
It was at length determined, that it should be re- 
moved for ten years to Philadelphia, and then be 
established at some place on the Potomac River. Ul- 
timately the position was selected, which has since been 
called the District of Columbia ; and the territory was 
surveyed, the city planned, and the public buildings 
commenced, under the direction of Washington, this 
duty devolving on him as President For three or four 
years it occupied a great deal of his attention ; and, in 
compliance with the laws, he appointed commissioners 
for managing the business, with whom he carried on a 
voluminous correspondence, giving personal directions, 
and requirbg exact accounts of all proceedings. 

Rhode Island having adopted the constitution, and 
acceded to the Union, the President made a visit to 
that State immediately after the session of Congress. 
In his eastern tour he had avoided going to Rhode 
Island, because it had not then joined the Union under 
the new government. 

Another severe disease, and constant application to 
business, had much impaired his health ; and he deter- 
mined to take advantage of the recess of Congress, 



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^T.58.] LIFE OF WASHINGTON. 465 

throw off for a brief space the burden of public cares, 
and seek repose and recreation in his own quiet home 
at Mount Vernon. He always returned to that spot 
with delight ; and it was now doubly dear to him, as it 
promised rest from labor, refreshment to his weary spirit 
and debilitated body, and a few days of leisure to ride 
over his farms, view his gardens, orchards, and fields, 
and observe the progress of his agricultural operations. 

The foreign relations of the United States, at the 
beginning of the new government, though not compli- 
cated, were nevertheless in an unsettled condition. 
With France there was a good understanding, the 
treaties of alliance and commerce having been scru- 
pulously fulfilled on both sides. The revolutionary 
disorders, however, soon broke out, and produced dis- 
agreements, alienation, and trouble. 

With Morocco a sort of informal treaty existed, and 
Washington wrote two letters to the Emperor, who 
had received American vessels into his ports, and prom- 
ised his aid to conciliate the Barbary powers. This 
promise was unavailing. The Algerines had seized 
vessels belonging to citizens of the United States, and 
held the officers and sailors in bondage for several years. 

The government stood in a more delicate relation 
to England, than to any other power. The old feuds 
and bitter feelmgs of the war subsided slowly. All 
attempts to bring about a treaty of commerce between 
the two countries had failed. The British cabinet, 
probably distrusting the stability of the Union under 
the old Confederation, had shown no disposition to 
enter into a treaty of this sort, and had never sent a 
minister to the United States. The military posts on 
the frontiers had not been given up, as was stipulated in 
the treaty of peace. The reason assigned, that some 

VOL. I. 59 



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466 LIFE OF WASHINGTON. [1790, 

of the States had refused to pay the debts due to Brit- 
ish subjects, which they were likewise bound to do by 
the treaty, was plausible, and perhaps well founded. 
Congress had but a limited power to enforce a com- 
pliance with treaties ; and it was natural in such a case, 
that other nations should be tardy in making them. 
This state of things being altered by the constitutbn, 
President Washington thought it desirable to ascertain 
the views and intentions of the British government, in 
regard to complying with the treaty of peace, and to 
future intercourse. To attam this end he commissioned 
Gouvemeur Morris as a private agent to hold conver- 
sations with the British ministers, deemmg it of great 
importance, as he said, that errors should be avoided in 
the system of policy respecting Great Britain. 

Affairs with Spain were yet more unpromismg. At 
the outset of the Revolution, his Catholic Majesty, yield- 
ing to the solicitations of France, seemed to abet the 
American cause; but he soon changed his mind, re- 
fused to join with France in acknowledging the inde- 
pendence of the United States, even when he declared 
war against England, and gave his sanction to the treaty 
of peace with no good will He feared the effect, and 
not without reason, which the example of the northern 
republicans might have upon his colonies in South Amer- 
ica. A negotiation had been going on, tedious as it 
was unprofitable, down to the time of Washington's 
election to the Presidency, but no apparent progress 
had been made. The Floridas and Louisiana belonged 
to Spain. The navigation of the Mississippi was the 
great point of controversy. This was essential to the 
settlers in the West, and was becoming every day more 
and more so on account of the rapid increase of the 
population. Spain persisted in withholding all rights 
and privileges in that navigation torn citizens of the 



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iET.58.] LIFE OF WASHINGTON. 467 

United States. There were various grounds of policy 
for this refusal, but probably the most operative was a 
secret hope, that the western inhabitants, weary of these 
obstacles to their commerce, and dissatisfied with the 
national government for not removing them, might 
sooner or later dissever themselves from the Union, 
and form a separate republic, which would easily fall 
under the control of Spain. 

Other circumstances, growing out of the relations 
with England and Spain, were extremely injurious to 
the interests of the country. During the war, the In- 
dians on the borders of the United States had almost 
everywhere been allied with the enemy. When peace 
came, it found them in the attitude of hostility, their 
savage spirit roused, and their vindictive tempers eager 
for slaughter and revenge ; and the United States were 
left to appease and conciliate them as they could. In 
any case this would have been an arduous task, but 
the difficulty was soon perceived to be increased by a 
foreign influence, keeping alive their enmity, and stim- 
ulating them to acts of outrage. British agents and 
traders on the northern frontier furnished the Indians 
with arms, ammunition, and clothing. In Florida the 
Spaniards tampered with the Creeks and other South- 
em Indians, and kept them at variance with their white 
neighbours. These acts were not acknowledged, pos- 
sibly not authorized, by the English and Spanish gov- 
ernments, but they were certainly not restrained, and 
they were repeated long after full representations had 
been made. 

The eflect was a protracted and expensive war. 
Washington's policy in regard to the Indians was 
always pacific and humane. He considered them as 
children, who should be treated with tenderness and 
forbearance. He aimed to conciliate them by good 



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468 LIFE OP WASHINGTON. [1790. 

usage, to obtain their lands by fair purchase and punc- 
tual payments, to make treaties with them on terms 
of equity and reciprocal advantage, and strictly to re- 
deem every pledge. In these respects he looked upon 
the Indian tribes as holdmg the same rank and the 
same rights as civilized nations. But their &ithless- 
ness, ravages, and murders were not to be tolerated, 
from whatever causes they arose. After failing in every 
attempt at a pacification, he was convinced that war 
was the only alternative. It continued four or five 
years, with many vicissitudes of misfortune and dis- 
aster, the defeats of Harmar and St Clair, unsuccessfiil 
campaigns, and much waste of blood and treasure, till 
General Wayne put an end to it, first by a battie, and 
then by a treaty of peace. This war lasted through 
a large part of Washington's administration. It was 
a source of regret and pam to him, on account both 
of its cause, the necessity of subduing by force the 
turbulence of an ignorant and deluded race of men, 
and of the heavy charge it imposed on the nation for 
maintaining an army. 

Congress commenced their third session at Phila- 
delphia, and the President returned fix)m Mount Ver- 
non to that city, where he afterwards resided till the 
term of his office expired. The debates of this session 
were scarcely less vehement, or less deeply tinged with 
party antipathies, than those of the preceding. Two 
important measures were brought forward, discussed, 
and adopted; a national bank, and a tax on ardent 
spirits distilled in the United States. 

The Secretary of the Treasury had previously rec- 
ommended a national bank, as of great utility in ad- 
mmistering the finances of the country, and facilitatmg 
the operations for the support of public credit He 
now called the attention of Congress to the subject by 



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iET.58.] LIFE OP WASHINGTON. 469 

a special report, in which his views were explsdned 
with the same perspicuity and vigor of argument, which 
marked every thing that came from his pen. The pro- 
ject met with a strong opposition. It was attacked 
chiefly on the ground of its being unconstitutional. 
Much was said of the express, incidental, and implied 
powers conferred on Congress by the constitution ; and 
it was averred, that none of these, nor all of them 
together, authorized the incorporating of a bank. Its 
policy was questioned, and the utility of banking sys- 
tems denied. To this it was answered, that such in- 
cidental powers must necessarily belong to every form 
of government, as will enable it to carry into effect the 
positive and vested powers, and to employ all the usual 
means for that purpose ; and that a construction of the 
constitution according to this fundamental principle fairly 
included the means afforded by a bank, to which almost 
all commercial nations had resorted, and the advantages 
of which had been proved by long experience. The 
arguments were somewhat metaphysical and attenuated 
on both sides ; and indeed the attempt to define what 
is mtended or implied by a written mstrument, on 
points about which it says nothing, must naturally lead 
to abstractions little suited to enlighten or convince. 
No other rule of interpretation would seem to be ap- 
plicable in practice, than that a proposed measure shall 
contribute to the public good, and not contravene any 
express power. The contest ended in the establish- 
ment of a bank, with a capital of ten millions of dollars, 
of which eight millions were to be held by individuals, 
and the residue by the government 

On this subject the cabinet was divided, Jefferson 
and Randolph being opposed to the bank as unconsti- 
tutional, and Hamilton and Knox of a contrary opinion. 
The President requested from each a statement of 

VOL. I. NN 



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470 LIFE OP WASHINGTON. [1790. 

his reasons in writing, and he is understood to have re- 
flected deeply, and deliberated even with more than 
his usual caution, before he affixed his signature to 
the act 

The object of the tax on distilled spirits was to pro- 
vide a fund for paying the interest on a portion of the 
domestic debt The duties on imports were said to 
be strained as far as they would bear, without injury 
to commerce, and perhaps to the revenue by holding 
out a temptation to smuggling ; and, as a new tax must 
be laid somewhere, the Secretary of the Treasury 
thought it could fall on no commodity less objection- 
able than ardent spirits distilled in the country. The 
tax was opposed as impolitic and unequal in its appli- 
cation. It was branded as an odious excise, hostile to 
liberty, the collecting of which would inflame the peo- 
ple, and lead to evasions and perhaps to resistance. 
It was unequal, because distilling was practised mostly 
in the West, and a few limited districts in other parts. 
This argument was more specious than sound, since 
the consumers would actually pay the tax ; but it was 
vehemently urged by some of the representatives. 
The bill was carried, and was more remarkable for its 
consequences, than for its characteristics as a legisla- 
tive act, in whatever light it may be viewed. 

The President had fixed on the next recess of Con- 
gress for a tour through the southern States. He set 
off* about the middle of March, and was gone three 
months, performing in that time a journey of eighteen 
hundred and eighty-seven miles with the same horses. 
His route was through Richmond, Wilmington, and 
Charleston, as far as Savannah ; whence he returned by 
way of Augusta, Columbia, and the interior of North 
Carolina and Virginia. Before leaving home, he had 
ascertained with great accuracy the distances between 



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iET.58.] LIFE OF WASHINGTON. 471 

one place and another, settled the precise day upon 
which he should arrive at each, and the length of time 
he should stop. Not a smgle accident occurred ; and 
with such exactness and method had his calculations 
been made, that his original plan was executed in every 
particular, except that he stayed one day more in one 
place than he mtended, and one day less in another. 
He everywhere received the same proofs of respect 
and attachment, which had been manifested in his 
travels through the middle and eastern States. 

The principal laws passed at the next session were 
those for apportioning the representatives, establishing a 
uniform militia system, and increasing the army. The 
constitution had prescribed, that the representatives in 
the national legislature should be apportioned among 
the several States according to the respective numbers 
of their population, but that the whole number of 
representatives should not exceed one for every thirty 
thousand. When the new apportionment bill was 
proposed, it was found that no ratio could be chosen, 
which would not leave large fractions to some of the 
States. For instance, if thirty thousand were taken 
as the ratio, there would be an unrepresented surplus 
of fifteen or twenty thousand, more or less, in some 
of the States. To remedy this imperfection, a bill was 
introduced and passed, which fixed the ratio at thirty 
thousand. The total population was divided by this 
ratio, which gave one hundred and twenty as the whole 
number of representatives. But this included the sum 
of all the flections ; and, after apportioning to each State 
one representative for every thirty thousand, the residu- 
ary members, to make the whole number of one hundred 
and twenty, were distributed among the States m which 
the fractions were the largest. The President decided, 
that this bill did not conform to the constitution, it 



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472 LIFE OF WASHINGTON. [1790, 

being obvious that the ratio was meant to apply to the 
States individually, and not to the aggregate amoimt 
of population in them all. He therefore returned the 
bill to Congress, with his reasons for not affixing his 
signature. A new bill was then framed and approved, 
fixing the ratio at thirty-three thousand, and throwing 
out the fractions. 

The subject derived an importance from the spirit 
of party, and local jealousies, which entered mto the 
discussion. Many of the members were strenuous for 
as large a representation as possible, by which the 
rights of the States would be better preserved, and a 
check aflforded to the undue increase of executive 
power. The bill for the increase of the army was 
opposed on the same grounds. It would enlarge the 
executive patronage, which might ultimately be adverse 
to liberty, and a greater evil than the Indian war, for 
the prosecution of which the army was wanted. 

It became evident, indeed, from many indications, 
both in Congress and abroad, that the advocates for 
different measures were fast arranging themselves into 
two distinct parties, the administration and its friends 
on one side, and its opponents on the other. In the 
first place, they who had opposed the constitution would 
naturally have their prejudices arrayed against it when 
put in practice, and be ready to find fault with any 
system by which this was effected. Again, all those 
who had watched with solicitude over the rights of the 
States, and believed these in danger, would be prepared 
to see the fulfilment of their predictions in the acts of 
the general government, howeva- administered. If to 
these we add the bias of personal feelings, the influence 
of the passions, an unlimited freedom of speech, and 
the tendency of opposition to beget opposition, we shall 
have abimdant materials for creatmg parties and aliment 



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iET. 60.] LIFE OF WASHINGTON. 473 

for their support And, as parties gain strength by 
union, it was easy for these elements, at first discordant, 
gradually to assimilate. Nor need we question the mo- 
tives of any individual or class of men. It is fair to 
presume, that, at this stage of our political progress, 
there was as much patriotism and sincerity on both 
sides as at any other period. It is true, that, when a 
man gives himself up to a party, he is apt to forget his 
country ; yet in all firee communities there must be par- 
ties, and every man must belong to one or another, 
so that his motives should be judged by his conduct 
and character, rather than by the side he takes. The 
necessity of parties is not identical with their abuse. 
The former is the safeguard of liberty, the latter its bane. 
If the people would enjoy the one, they must be en- 
lightened enough to perceive and virtuous enough to 
correct the other. 

But this is not the place to examme into the origin 
or principles of the two great parties, which at that time 
began to divide the country, and which have continued 
ever since, with such modifications as have sprung fi^om 
events and circumstances. It needs only to be said, that 
they were viewed with deep regret by Washington, and 
with a painful apprehension of their effects. Conscious 
of acting with the single aun of admmistering the gov- 
ernment for the best interests and happiness of the 
people, he was mortified to find his endeavours thwarted 
at every step by party discords and personal enmities 
among those, who controlled public opinion by their 
standing and talents, and on whose aid he relied. It 
was not in Congress alone, that these jarrings occurred. 
They crept into the cabmet, disturbing its harmony, and 
dividing its counsels. 

He had for some time been aware of a radical differ- 
ence of opinion between the Secretary of State and the 

VOL.1. 60 NN* 



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474 LIFE OP WASHINGTON. [1792. 

Secretary of the Treasury, on some of the most impor- 
tant measures of the administration. The causes were 
deeply seated. Hamilton regarded the Constitution as 
affording inadequate powers to the general government, 
and believed its weakness to be its greatest defect 
Hence he thought its success could be hoped for only 
by construing and administering it in such a manner, as 
would add the greatest degree of strength to the ex- 
ecutive. Jefferson's sentiments and fears ran in an 
opposite direction. To him it appeared, that there was 
too much power in the head, that the exercise of the 
executive authority ought to be restrained, and that the 
rights of States and the liberty of the people were in 
jeopardy. The funding system, the assumption of the 
State debts, the bank, and the tax on domestic spirits, 
were all at variance with his principles. 

These measures originated with Hamilton, and con- 
stituted the promment features of the administration. 
The ability with which they had been planned, and 
their success, contributed to elevate their author in the 
public estimation, which, to say the least, could not be 
supposed to gratify the feeUngs of his colleague, es- 
pecially as he looked upon the measures themselves 
to be wrong and fraught with mischief; nor could 
it be expected, that the two secretaries would har- 
monize in devising the means of carrying them into 
execution. It should be stated, nevertheless, that Jef- 
ferson discharged the duties of his office to the entire 
satisfaction of the President Though differing in opin- 
ion fix)m the majority of the cabinet, he did not allow 
his private views to influence his conduct as a member 
of that council, or as holding a responsible station in the 
government Nothing more, perhaps, could reasonably 
be required of him, under the circumstances in which 
he was placed ; yet, as it regarded the success of the 



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iET.60.] LIFE OP WASHINGTON. 475 

administration, a reluctant performance of duty was far 
from bemg the same thing as the cordial and vigorous 
support of a willing mind. In ail respects, therefore, 
these disagreements were unpropitious, embarrassing to 
the President, and injurious to the public welfare. 

The deep anxiety he felt on this subject, his ardent 
desire to heal the breach, and the means he took to 
accomplish it, will appear in the following extract from a 
letter, which he wrote to Jefferson. 

"How unfortunate, and how much to be regretted is 
it, that, while we are encompassed on all sides with 
avowed enemies and insidious friends, internal dis- 
sensions should be harrowing and tearing our vitals. 
The latter, to me, is the most serious, the most alarm- 
ing, and the most afflictmg of the two; and, without 
more charity for the opinions and acts of one another 
in governmental matters, or some more infallible crite- 
rion by which the truth of speculative opinions, before 
they have undergone the test of experience, are to be 
forejudged, than has yet faUen to the lot of fallibility, 
I believe it will be difficult, if not impracticable, to 
manage the reins of government, or to keep the parts 
of it together; for if, mstead of laymg our shoulders 
to the machine after measures are decided on, one 
pulls this way and another that, before the utility of 
the thing is fairly tried, it must inevitably be torn 
asunder; and in my opinion the fairest prospect of 
happiness and prosperity, that ever was presented to 
man, will be lost perhaps for ever. 

"My earnest wish and my fondest hope, therefore, 
is, that, instead of wounding suspicions and irritating 
chaises, there may be liberal allowances, mutual for- 
bearances, and temporizmg yieldings on all sides. Un- 
der the exercise of these, matters will go on smoothly, 
and, if possible, more prosperously. Without them, 



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476 LIFE OP WASHINGTON. [1792. 

every thing must rub ; the wheels of government will 
clog ; our enemies will triumph, and, by throwing their 
weight mto the disaffected scale, may accomplish the 
ruin of the goodly fabric we have been erectmg. 

" I do not mean to apply this advice, or these obser- 
vations, to any particular person or character, I have 
given them in the same general terms to other officers 
of the government; because the disagreements, which 
have arisen from difference of opinions, and the attacks, 
which have been made upon almost all the measures 
of government, and most of its executive officers, have 
for a long time past filled me with painful sensations, 
and cannot fail, I think, of producing unhappy conse- 
quences at home and abroad." 

He wrote likewise to Hamilton, nearly at the same 
time and almost in the same words, and added; "Dif- 
ferences in political opinions are as unavoidable, as, to a 
certain pomt, they may periiaps be necessary; but it 
is exceedingly to be regretted, that subjects cannot be 
discussed with temper on the one hand, or decisions 
submitted to without having the motives, which led to 
them, improperly implicated on the other ; and this re- 
gret borders on chagrm, when we find that men of 
abilities, zealous patriots, having the same genercU ob- 
jects in view, and the same upright intentions to prose- 
cute them, will not exercise more charity in deciding on 
the opmions and actions of one another. When matters 
get to such lengths, the natural inference is, that both 
sides have strained the cords beyond their bearing, and 
that a middle course would be foimd the best, imtil 
experience shall have decided on the right way, or 
(which is not to be expected, because it is denied to 
mortals,) there shall be some infallible rule by which we 
could forejudge events.** 

In another letter to Jefferson, after again recommend- 



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iET.60.] LIFE OP WASHINGTON. 477 

ing mutual forbearance and conciliation, he said; <^A 
measure of this sort would produce harmony and con- 
sequent good in our public councils. The contrary 
will inevitably introduce confusion and serious mis- 
chiefs; and for what? Because mankind cannot think 
alike, but would adopt different means to attain the 
same ends. For I will frankly and solemnly declare, 
that I believe the views of both of you to be pure and 
well-meant, and that experience only will decide, with 
respect to the salutariness of the measures, which are 
the subjects of dispute. Why, then, when some of the 
best citizens in the United States, men of discernment, 
uniform and tried patriots, who have no sinister views 
to promote, but are chaste in their ways of thinking and 
acting, are to be found, some on one side and some on 
the other of the questions, which have caused these 
agitations, should either of you be so tenacious of your 
opinions, as to make no allowances for those of the 
other? I could, and indeed was about to add more on 
this interesting subject, but will forbear, at least for 
the present, after expressing a wish, that the cup, 
which has been presented to us, may not be snatched 
fix)m our lips by a discordance of action, when I am 
persuaded there is no discordance m your views. I 
have a great, a sincere esteem and regard for you both, 
and ardently wish that some line may be marked out 
by which both of you could walk." 

Unhappily this line was never found. The two sec- 
retaries continued to diverge from each other, both in 
their political course and their private feelings, till their 
differences settled into a personal enmity, which neither 
the advice of friends could modify, nor time eradicate. 
This was the more lamented by Washington, as, ac- 
cording to his own declaration and the whole tenor of 
his intercourse, he had a sincere attachment to both 



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478 LIFE OP WASHINGTON. [1798. 

of them and confidence in their patriotic intentions, and 
as he foresaw the fatal consequences, which might re- 
sult fh)m a heated strife between men, whose talents 
and political consideration gave them so commanding 
an influence over the public will.* 

* The letters of Hamilton and Jefferson on this subject, and the merits 
of their controversy as explained by themselves, may be seen in Vol- 
ume X. p. 515, Appendix. 



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iET.ei.] LIFE OP WASHINGTON. 479 



CHAPTER XVm. 

Washington is elected President for a Second Term. — Takes the Oath 
of Office. — Relations between the United States and France. — Opin- 
ions of the Cabinet. — Proclamation of Neutrality. — Party Divisions 
and Excitements. — Genet received as Minister from France. — His 



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480 LIFE OP WASHINGTON. [1793. 

tration, they agreed in opinion, that the character, influ- 
ence, and steady hand of Washington were necessary 
to secure the stability of government, if not to preserve 
the nation from anarchy. Their language is strong, 
and shows the anxious concern with which the crisis 
was viewed by men of all parties. 

" The confidence of the whole Union,*' said JeflTerson, 
"is centred m you. Your being at the hehn will be 
more than an answer to every argument, which can be 
used to alarm and lead the people in any quarter into 
violence or secession. North and south will hang to- 
gether, if they have you to hang on ; and, if the first 
corrective of a numerous representation should fail in its 
efiect, your presence will give time for trying others not 
inconsistent with the union and peace of the States. I 
am perfectly aware of the oppression imder which your 
present oflfice lays your mind, and of the ardor with 
which you pant for retu^ment to domestic life. But 
there is sometunes an eminence of charact^ on which 
society have such peculiar claims, as to control the 
predilection of the individual for a particular walk of 
happmess, and restrain him to that alone arising from 
the present and future benedictions of mankind. This 
seems to be your condition, and the law imposed on 
you by Providence, in formmg your character, and fash- 
ionmg the events on which it was to operate ; and it 
is to motives like these, and not to personal anxieties 
of mme or others, who have no right to call on you 
for sacrifices, that I appeal from your fcn*m^ determi- 
nation and urge a revisal of it, on the ground of change 
in the aspect of thmgs. Should an honest majority 
result fix)m the new and enlarged representation, should 
those acquiesce, whose principles or interests they may 
control, your wishes for reth^ment would be gratified 
with less danger, as soon as that shall be manifest. 



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iET. 61.] LIFE OP WASHINGTON. 481 

without awaiting the completion of the second period 
of four years. One or two sessions will determine the 
crisis ; and I cannot but hope, that you can resolve 
to add one or two more to the many years you have 
ah-eady sacrificed to the good of mankind.'^ 

Hamilton was equally strenuous and decided, ** It is 
clear," said he, " that if you continue in office, nothing 
materially mischievous is to be apprehended; if you 
quit, much is to be dreaded; that the same motives, 
which induced you to accept originally, ought to decide 
you to continue till matters have assumed a more de- 
terminate aspect ; that indeed it would have been bet- 
ter, as it regards your own character, that you had 
never consented to come forward, than now to leave 
the business imfinished and in danger of being undone ; 
that, in the event of storms arismg, there would be an 
imputation either of want of foresight or want of firm- 
ness ; and, in fine, that on public and personal accounts, 
on patriotic and prudential considerations, the clear path 
to be pursued by you will be again Jo obey the voice 
of your country. I trust, and I pray God, that you 
will determine to make a further sacrifice of your 
tranquillity and happiness to the public good.** 

Randolph spoke with the same urgency. ^ The fuel, 
which has been already gathered for combustion,'* he 
observed, ** wants no addition. But how awfully might 
it be increased, were the violence, which is now sus- 
pended by a universal submission to your pretensions, 
let loose by your resignation. The constitution would 
never have been adopted, but 6rom a knowledge that 
you had once sanctioned it, and an expectation that 
you would execute it It is in a state of probation. 
The most inauspicious struggles are past, but the pub- 
lic deliberations need stability. You alone can give 
them stability. You suffered yourself to yield when 

VOL. I. 61 oo 



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482 LIFE OP WASHINGTON. [179a 

the voice of your country summoned you to the ad- 
ministration. Should a civil war arise, you cannot stay 
at home. And how much easier will it be to dis- 
perse the factions, which are rushing to this catastro- 
phe, than to subdue them after they shall appear in 
arms? It is the fixed opmion of the world, that you 
surrender nothmg incomplete." 

Sentiments like these, uttered by his confidential 
advisers, whose political opinions he knew were at 
variance with each other, could not fail to make a 
deep impression, and the more so as they were reiter- 
ated fi-om every quarter. He seems to have resolved 
at one time to follow his inclination, and retire at the 
end of his first term of service. This is evident fiom 
his having prepared a farewell address to the people, 
designed for the occasion of his taking leave of them. 
But he never made a public declaration to that effect, 
and he was finally chosen for a second period of four 
years by the unanimous vote of the electors. On the 
4th of Marcel, 1793, he took the oath of office in 
the senate-cham!)er, in presence of the members of 
the cabinet, various public officers, foreign ministers, 
and such other persons as could be accommodated. 

In addition to the Indian war, the contests of par- 
ties, and other internal troubles with which the ad- 
ministration was embarrassed, the foreign relations of 
the United States were every day becoming peculiarly 
delicate and inauspicious. Scarcely had the President 
entered upon his new term of office, when the intel- 
ligence was received, that France had declared war 
against England and Holland. The French revolution, 
in its earliest stages, was haUed by almost every one 
in the United States as a joyful event, and as afford- 
ing a presage of the happiest results to the cause <rf 
freedom and the welfare of mankind. Such would 



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Mt.61.] life op WASHINGTON. 483 

naturally be the first impulse of a people, who had re- 
cently been engaged in a similar struggle, encouraged 
by the good wishes and strengthened by the assistance 
of the French nation. Washington partook of this gen- 
eral sentiment. 

The sangumary acts that followed, and the ferocious 
temper shown by the leaders, left but little ground for 
hope ; yet there were causes still, which induced many 
to cling to the interests of France, and approve the 
revolution, although they looked with horror upon the 
means employed to carry it forward. It was believed 
to be a warfare of the oppressed against their oppres- 
sors, in which justice was asserting her rights, and res- 
cumg from thraldom the victims, who had been so long 
borne down by the yoke of bondage, and scourged 
by the rod of despotism. A new era was supposed to 
have arisen, when liberty was about to go forth suc- 
cessful in conquest, breaking down the strong-holds of 
tyranny, and building up her temples of peace and con- 
cord on their ruins. Ardent minds were easily cap- 
tivated by this illusion, especially when it harmonized 
with their opinions on other subjects. Their impressions 
also derived force from the prejudices against England, 
deeply rooted and of long standing, which the conduct 
of the British cabinet since the peace had not con- 
tributed to remove. 

Gouvemeur Morris had been sent to France as min- 
ister plenipotentiary from the United States. A friendly 
intercourse had been kept up between the two coun- 
tries, on the basis of the treaties of alliance and com- 
merce ; but, after the downfall of the King, and amidst 
the distractions succeeding that event, the minister's sit- 
uation was embarrassing. It was the opinion of Wash- 
ington, in which his cabinet agreed with him, that every 
nation had a right to govern itself as it chose, and that 



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484 LIFE OP WASHINGTON. [I79a 

other nations were bound to recognise and respect the 
existing authority, whatever form it might assume. Mr. 
Morris was furnished with instructions according to this 
view of the subject But the difficulty for a time con- 
sisted in ascertaining whether there was any actual 
government resting on the will of the nation. His pru- 
dence in this respect, and his caution not to commit 
his country rashly, gave umbrage to the nominal rulers, 
or rather the leaders of the contending £au^tions, who 
complamed, and expressed dissatisfaction, that the United 
States manifested so little sympathy with their eariiest 
friends and allies, the vindicators of liberty and the 
rights of man. Such was the state of things when war 
was declared against England. 

It was perceived, that this aspect of affairs would 
have a direct influence on the foreign relations of the 
United States, and that it would require the greatest 
cutjumspection to prevent the country from bemg em- 
broiled with belligerent powers, particularly England 
and France. When the President first heard the news 
of the declaration of war, he was at Mount Vernon ; and 
he wrote immediately to the Secretary of State, avowing 
his determination to maintain a strict neutrality between 
the hostile parties. Vesseb in the ports of the United 
States were understood to be akeady designated as 
privateers, and he desired that measures to put a stop 
to all such proceedings should be adopted without delay. 

On his return to Philadelphia, he summoned a meet- 
ing of the cabinet, submitting to each member at the 
same time a series of questions, which he requested 
might be considered as preparatory to the meeting. 
The substance of these questions was, whether a proc- 
lamation of neutrality should be issued ; whether a min- 
ister from the French republic should be received, and, 
if so, whether it should be absolutely or with qualifi- 



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iET,61.] LIFE OF WASHINGTON. 486 

cations; whether, in the present condition of France, 
the United States were bound by good faith to execute 
the treaties between the two nations, or whether these 
ought to be suspended till the government should be 
established; and whether the guarantee in the treaty 
of alliance was applicable to a defensive war only, cm* 
to a war either defensive or offensive. These points 
mvolved very important considerations. If the treaty 
was binding in the case of an offensive war, then a state 
of neutrality could not be assumed in regard to France ; 
and, if it was applicable to a defensive war only, the in- 
tricate question was still to be settled, whether the war 
on the part of the French was offensive or defensive, or 
of a mixed and equivocal character, and how far the 
guarantee ought to be applied under such circumstances. 
The cabinet decided unanimously, that a proclama- 
tion should be issued, "forbidding the citizens of the 
United States to take part in any hostilities on the seas, 
either with or against the belligerent powers, and wam- 
mg them against carrying to any such powers any of 
those articles deemed contraband according to the mod- 
em usages of liations, and enjoining them from all acts 
and proceedings inconsistent with the duties of a friend- 
ly nation towards those at war.'* It was also agreed, 
with the same unanimity, that a minister from the 
French republic should be received. On the subject 
of qualifying his reception, the members of the cabinet 
were divided in opinion, Jefferson and Randolph being 
opposed to any qualification implying that the relations 
between the two countries were changed, and Hamilton 
and Knox being in favor of it, because they believed 
there was in reality no fixed government in France, and 
they feared that a recognition of the existing authority 
might involve the United States in difficulties with that 
nation and with other powers. 

oo* 



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486 LIFE OF WASHINGTON. [179a 

As to the question of guarantee, the two former 
thought it not necessary to come to any formal decision, 
while the two latter argued that the treaty of alliance 
was plainly defensive, and that the guarantee could not 
apply to a war, which had been begim by France. The 
President required the opinions and arguments of each 
member of the cabmet in writing ; and, after deliberately 
weighing them, he decided, that a minister should be 
received on the same terms as formerly, and that the 
obligations of the treaties ought to remam m full force, 
leaving the subject of guarantee for future consideration, 
aided by a better knowledge of the condition and pros- 
pects of France. 

The proclamation of neutrality was signed on the 
22d of April, and immediately published. This measure, 
in regard both to its character and its consequences, 
was one of the most important of Washmgton's admin- 
istration. It was the basis of a system, by which the 
intercourse with foreign nations was regulated, and 
which was rigidly adhered to. In fact it was the only 
step, that could have saved the United States from be- 
ing drawn into the vortex of the European wars, which 
raged with so much violence for a long time afterwards. 
Its wisdom and its good effects are now so obvious, on 
a calm review of past events, that one is astonished at 
the opposition it met with, and the strifes it enkindled, 
even after making due allowance for the passions and 
prejudices, which had hitherto been at work in pro- 
ducing discord and divisions. 

But so it was, that this act, emanatmg from the purest 
motives, founded on the clearest principles of justice, 
designed to keep the nation in peace and advance its 
prosperity, was distorted into an instrument for effectmg 
party objects, and made a rallying-point whence to assail 
the administration and embarrass its movements. It 



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^T.61.) LIFE OP WASHINGTON. 487 

was denounced as violating the treaty with France, and 
as indicating an open hostility to that country and par- 
tiality for England. In short, it became the dividing 
line between the two great parties, which had been 
growing up fix)m the time the constitution was framed, 
and which consolidated themselves under the names of 
the Federal and Democratic parties, the former adhering 
to the administration, the latter opposing it Foreign 
affairs were mingled with domestic politics. The friends 
of neutrality were stigmatized as partisans of England ; 
while they, in their turn, charged their opponents with 
being devoted to France, abettmg the horrors of the 
revolution, and striving to lead the country into ia war, 
in which nothing could be gained and much might be 
lost Thus each side contributed its share to add fuel 
to the flame. 

Washington for a time was allowed to keep aloof 
from the contest His character, revered by the people, 
shielded by their affections, and equally above reproach 
and suspicion, was too elevated a mark for the shafts 
of malevolence. But a crisis had now arrived, when 
the sacredness of virtue, and the services of a life spent 
in promoting the public weal, could no longer secure 
him from the assaults of party animosity. The enemies 
of the administration perceived, that the attempt to ex- 
ecute their plans would be vain, unless they could first 
weaken his mfluence by diminishing his popularity. 
The task was hard and repelling ; and it may reasonably 
be presumed, that a supposed political necessity, rather 
than cordial good-will, led them to engage in so im- 
grateful a work. It was pursued with a perseverance 
and sometimes with an acrimony, for which the best of 
causes could hardly afford an apology; but, however 
much it might disturb his repose or embarrass his public 
measures, it could neither shake his firmness, nor turn 



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488 LIFE OP WASHINGTON. [1798. 

him fix)m his steady purpose of sacrificing every other 
consideration to the interests of his country. 

In the midst of these ferments, M. Genet came to the 
United States as minister fix)m the French republic. 
He landed at Charleston, in South Carolina, and travelled 
thence through the country to Philadelphia. He was 
received everywhere with such enthusiasm and extrava- 
gant marks of attention, as to deceive him into a belief, 
that the great body of the American people heartily 
espoused the cause of the French revolution, and was 
ready to join the citizens of the new republic in carry- 
ing the banner of liberty and equality to the ends of 
the earth. Being of an ardent temperament, and em- 
boldened by these indications, the citizen minister, as 
he was called, at once commenced a career, as unjus- 
tifiable as it was extraordinary. Even before he left 
Charleston he gave orders for fittmg out and anmng 
vessels in that port to cruise as privateers, and commit 
hostilities on the commerce of nations at peace with the 
United States. Notwithstanding this act of presump- 
tion and rashness, which was known before he reached 
Philadelphia, he was received by the President with 
fi^nkness, and with all the respect due to the represen- 
tative of a foreign power. 

Genet declared, that his government was strongly 
attached to the United States, and had no desire to en- 
gage them in the war; but his secret mstructions, which 
he afterwards published, were of a different complexion, 
and proved very clearly, that the designs of his em- 
ployers were contrary to the professions of their minis- 
ter. Indeed his whole conduct, fix)m beginning to end, 
could have no other tendency than to bring the United 
States into an immediate conflict with all the powers 
at war with France. The privateers commissioned by 
him came into the American ports with prizes. This 



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iET.61.] LIFE OP WASHINGTON. 489 

produced remonstrances from the British mmister, and 
a demand of restitution. The subject accordingly came 
before the cabinet In regard to the lawfulness of the 
seizures, there was but one opinion. It was decided, 
that, smce every nation had exclusive jurisdiction within 
its own territory, the act of fitting out armed vessels 
under the authority of a foreign power was an en- 
croachment on national sovereignty, and a violation of 
neutral rights, which the government was bound to 
prevent. 

A declaration was accordingly made, that no priva- 
teers, fitted out in this manner, should find an asylum 
in the ports of the United States; and the custom- 
house officers were mstructed to keep a careful watch, 
and report every vessel which contravened the laws of 
neutrality. The question of restitution mvolved intricate 
pomts of maritime law, and opmions on this subject 
varied. It was unanimously agreed, however, that the 
original owners might justly claim indemnification, and 
that, if the property was not restored by the captors, 
the value of it ought to be paid by the government 

The French minister protested against these decis- 
ions, became angry and violent, wrote ofiensive letters 
to the Secretary of State, and seemed to forget alike the 
dignity of hb station and his character as a man. He 
still continued to encourage armed vessels to sail fi*om 
American ports under the French flag. By the firm- 
ness of the executive a check was put to this eflrontery. 
Measures were taken to prevent by force the departure 
of such vessels. The madness of the mmister was 
increased by the obstacles he encountered. Finding 
himself baffled m all his schemes, he resorted to men- 
aces, accused the President of having usurped the 
powers of Congress, and more than insinuated that he 
would af^eal to the people fw redress. This insult, 

VOL. I. 62 



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490 LIFE OF WASHINGTON. [179a 

aggravated by his previous conduct, could neither be 
tolerated nor passed over in silence. It was obvious, 
indeed, that nothing could be hoped from any further 
intercourse with so wrongheaded a man. A statement 
of the particulars was drawn up, and forwarded to the 
French government, with a request that he might be 
recalled. A more remarkable chapter can hardly be 
found in the history of diplomacy, than might be fur- 
nished from the records of this mission of Genet It 
is a memorable instance of the infatuation to which a 
man of respectable talents and private character may 
be driven by political frenzy. 

Among the pernicious effects of Genet's embassy was 
the establishment of associations in different parts of the 
country, called Democratic Societies, upon the model of 
the Jacobin clubs in France. The first society of this 
sort was instituted m Philadelphia, under the direction 
of Genet himself. Others soon followed. Their objects 
and influence are described by Washington. 

"That these societies,'* he observes, "were mstituted 
by the artfiil and designing members, (many of their 
body I have no doubt mean well, but know little of 
the real plan,) primarily to sow among the people the 
seeds of jealousy and distrust of the government, by 
destroymg all confidence m the administration of it, and 
that these doctrines have been budding and blowing 
ever since, is not new to any one, who is acquainted 
with the character of their leaders, alid has been atten- 
tive to their manoeuvres. 

" Can any thing be more absurd, more arrogant, or 
more pernicious to the peace of society, than for self- 
created bodies, forming themselves mto permanent 
censors, and under the shade of night in a conclave 
resolving that acts of Congress, which have undergone 
the most deliberate and solemn discussion by the rep- 



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iET.61.] LIFE OP WASHINGTON. 491 

resentatives of the people, chosen for the express pur- 
pose and bringmg with them ^m the different parts 
of the Union the sense of their constituents, endeav- 
ouring, as far as the nature of the thing will admit, to 
form their will mto laws for the government of the 
whole; I say, under these circumstances, for a self- 
created permanent body (for no one denies the right 
of the people to meet occasionally to petition for, or 
remonstrate against, any act of the legislature) to de- 
clare that this act is imconstitutional, and that act is 
pregnant with mischiefs, and that all, who vote contrary 
to their dogmas, are actuated by selfish motives or 
under foreign influence, nay, are traitors to their coun- 
try ? Is such a stretch of arrogant presumption to be 
reconciled with laudable motives, especially when we 
see the same set of men endeavouring to destroy 
all confidence m the administration, by arraigning all 
its acts, without knowing on what ground or. with 
what information it proceeds?'' 

He had declared similar opinions some years before, 
when it was a practice in Virginia to form societies for 
discussing political topics, examining public measures, 
and instructing delegates to the legislature. He ex- 
pressed strong disapprobation of these societies in letters 
to a nephew, who belonged to one of them. Nor was 
he in any case fiiendly to positive instructions from 
electors, believing that the representative, who is of 
course acquainted with the sentiments of his constitu- 
ents among whom he resides, should be left to act 
according to the judgment he shall form, after being 
enlightened by the argxmients and collected wisdom 
of a deliberative assembly. 

The relations with England were even more per- 
plexed, than those with France. A diplomatic inter- 
course had been commenced after the constitution was 



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492 LIFE OP WASHINGTON. [1793. 

adopted. Mr. Hammond resided in Philadelphia as 
minister from the British government, and Mr. Thomas 
Pinckney represented the United States as minister 
plenipotentiary at the court of St James. No pro- 
gress had been made, however, in negotiating a treaty 
of commerce or removing the causes of complaint 
The catalogue of grievances had rather grown longer 
than shorter. The posts on the frontier were still held, 
contrary to the treaty of peace, and mterferences with 
the Indians continued. Vessels had been searched 
and seamen impressed by British officers within the 
acknowledged jurisdiction of the United States; and 
the Bermuda privateers had committed d^jM^dations 
upon American vessels not only with impunity, but 
with the open sanction of the admiralty court in those 
islands. 

With the design of distressing France, by cutting 
off her supplies, two orders were issued by the British 
cabinet, one in June and the other in November, which 
operated with peculiar force upon American commerce. 
By the first order, British cruisers were instructed to 
stop all ships loaded with com, flour, or meal, bound 
to any French port, and send them to some convenient 
port, where the cargoes might be purchased in behalf 
of his Majesty's government By the second, ships 
of war and privateers were required to detain all ves- 
sels laden with goods produced in any colony belong- 
ing to France, or with provisions for any such colony, 
and bring them to legal adjudication in the British 
courts of admiralty. These orders were considered as a 
direct and flagrant violation of neutral rights, and the 
American government remonstrated against them as un- 
just in principle and extremely injurious in their effects. 

When Congress assembled, the state of affairs, both 
external and internal, was largely explained in the 



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JET.61.] LIFE OP WASHINGTON. 493 

President's speech, and in a separate message accom- 
panied with many documents. In these were com- 
prised the reasons for the com^e he had pursued, 
respectmg foreign powers, and suggestions for addi- 
tional legislative enactments to protect the rights of 
American citizens, and maintain the dignity of the 
country. While he sought peace, and urged a faithful 
discharge of every duty towards others, he recommend- 
ed, that prompt measures should be taken, not only for 
defence, but for enforcbg just claims. "There is a 
rank due to the United States among nations," said 
he, " which will be vrithheld, if not absolutely lost, by 
the reputation of weakness. If we desire to avoid 
msult, we must be able to repel it; if we desire to 
secure peace, one of the most powerful mstruments 
of our prosperity, it must be known, that we are at 
all times ready for war.'' These communications were 
well received by the two houses. Indeed both parties 
in Congress found so much to condemn m the con- 
duct of the belligerent powers toward neutrals, that 
on this pomt they seemed for a moment to forget their 
dissensions ; and, although the proclamation of neutrali- 
ty continued to be made a theme of declamation and 
abuse by violent partisans and the presses hostile to 
the administration, it met with no marks of disappro- 
bation from Congress.* 



* It was in allusion to the President's commnnications to Congress at 
the opening of this session, that Mr. Fox made the following remarks in 
the British Parliament, January 31st, 1794. 

^ And here, Sir, I cannot help alluding to the President of the United 
States, General Washington, a character whose conduct has been so 
different from that, which has been pursued by the ministers of this coun- 
try. How infinitely wiser must appear the spirit and principles manifested 
in his late address to Congress, than the policy of modem European 
courts ! lUnstrious man, deriving honor less from the splendor of his 
4- situation than from the dignity of his mind ; before whom all borrowed 
' VOL. I. P P 



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494 LIFE OP WASHINGTON. [1794. 

Near the beginning of the session an important re- 
port was made by die Secretary of State, respecting 
the commercial mtercourse of the United States with 
other nations, particulariy in regard to its privileges and 
restrictions, and the means for improving commerce and 
navigation. The report was able, elaborate, and com- 
prehensive, presenting a view of the trade between the 
United States and Uie principal countries of Europe. 

Two methods were suggested by the secretary for 
modifying or removing restrictions; first, by amicable 
arrangements with foreign powers ; secondly, by coun- 
tervailing acts of the legislature. He preferred the 
former, if it should be found practicable, and gave his 
reasons. The subject of navigation was also discussed, 
and a system of maritime defence recommended 



greatness sinks into insignificance, and all the potentates of Europe (ex- 
cepting the members of our own royal family) become little and con- 
temptible ! He has had no occasion to have recourse to any tricks (^ 
policy or arts of alarm ; his authority has been sufficiently supported by 
the same means by which it was acquired, and his conduct has uniformly 
been characterized by wisdom, moderation, and firmness. Feeling grati- 
tude to France for the assistance received from her in that great contest, 
which secured the independence of America, he did not choose to give 
up the system of neutrality. Having once laid down that line of conduct, 
which both gratitude and policy pointed out as most proper to be pursued, 
not all the insults and provocation of the French minister. Genet, could 
turn him from his purpose. Intrusted with the welfare of a great people, 
he did not allow liie misconduct of another, with respect to himself, for 
one moment to withdraw his attention from their interest. He had no 
fear of the Jacobins, be felt no alarm from their principles, and considered 
no precaution as necessary in order to stop their progress. 

^ The people over whom he presided he knew to be acquainted with 
their rights and their duties. He trusted to their own good sense to 
defeat the effect of those arts, which might be employed to inflame or 
mislead their minds ; and was sensible, that a government could be in no 
danger, while it retained the attachment and confidence of its subjects ; 
attachment, in this instance, not blindly adopted ; confidence not implicit- 
ly given, but arising from the conviction of its excellence, and the expe- 
rience of its blessings. I cannot, indeed, help admiring the wisdom and 
fortune of this great man. By the phrase ' fortune ' I mean not in the 



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JEt.&I] life op WASHINGTON. 495 

Shortly after making this report, Mr. Jefferson retired 
from the office of Secretary of State, in conformity with 
an intimation he had given some months before ; hav- 
ing been prevailed upon by the President, apparently 
against his own mcUnation, to remain till the end of 
the year. He was succeeded by Edmund Randolph, 
whose place as Attorney-general was supplied by Wil- 
liam Bradford of Pennsylvania. 

The secretary's report gave rise to Mr. Madison's 
celebrated commercial resolutions, which were long de- 
bated in the House of Representatives with a degree 
of animation, and even of asperity, that had not been 
exceeded since the adoption of the funding system. 
These resolutions embraced the general principles of 
the report, but they aimed at a discrimination in the 



smallest degree to derogate from his merit But, notwithstanding his 
extraordinary talents and exalted integrity, it must be considered as sin- 
gularly fortunate, that he should have experienced a lot, which so seldom 
falls to the portion of humanity, and have passed through such a variety 
of scenes without stain and without reproach. It must, indeed, create 
astonishment, that, placed in circumstances so critical, and filling for a 
series of years a station so conspicuous, his character should never once 
have been called in question; that he should in no one instance have 
been accused either of improper insolence, or of mean submission, in his 
transactions with foreign nations. For him it has been reserved to run 
the race of glory, without experiencing the smallest interruption to the 
brilliancy of his career.** 

To this eulogy of Mr. Fox, may properly be appended the complin 
mentary letter of Mr. Erskine, afterwards Lord Erskine, to General Wash- 
ington, though written a year later. It accompanied a book on the causes 
and consequences of the war with France. 

"London, 15 March, 1795. 
"Sir, 
" I have taken the liberty to introduce your august and immortal name 
in a short sentence, which will be found in the book I send you. I have 
a large acquaintance among the most valuable and exalted classes of 
men ; but you are the only human being for whom I ever felt an awfld 
reverence. I sincerely pray God to grant a long and serene evening to 
a life so gloriously devoted to the universal happiness of the world. 

«T. ERBKIIfS." 



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496 LIFE OP WASHINGTON. [1794. 

commercial intercourse with foreign countries, which 
was viewed in very different lights by the two parties 
in Congress. They imposed restrictions and additional 
duties on the manufactures and navigation of nations, 
which had no commercial treaties with the United 
States, and a reduction of duties on the tonnage of 
vessels belongbg to nations with which such treaties 
existed. In this scheme the fiiends of the admmistra- 
tion saw, or imagined they saw, hostility to England 
and undue favor to France, neither warranted by poll- 
cy, nor consistent with neutrality ; while the other party 
regarded it as equitable in itself and as absolutely 
necessary to protect the commerce of the country from 
insulting aggression and plunder. Mr. Madison's plan 
was modified m its progress ; but a resolution, retaming 
the principle of commercial restrictions, finally passed 
the House of Representatives. It was rejected in the 
Senate by the casting vote of the Vice-President 

While these discussions were going on with much 
heat in Congress, a measure was resorted to by the 
President, which produced considerable effect on the 
results. Advices from the American minister in Lon- 
don rendered it probable, that the British cabinet were 
disposed to settle the differences between the two 
countries on amicable terms. At all events the indica- 
tions were such, that Washmgton, firm to his purpose 
of neutrality and peace, resolved to make the experi- 
ment. Accordingly, on the 16th of April, he nominat- 
ed Mr. Jay to the Senate, as an envoy extraordinary 
to the court of Great Britain. " My objects are,** ssdd 
he, in a letter to the Secretary of State, ** to prevent a 
war, if justice can be obtsdned by fair and strong rep- 
resentations of the injuries, which this country has 
sustamed trom Great Britam m various ways, to put 
it in a complete state of military defence, and to provide 



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Mt.&Z,] life of WASHINGTON. 497 

eventually for the execution of such measures, as seem 
to be now pending in Congress, if negotiation m a 
reasonable time proves unsuccessful" The nomination 
was confirmed in the Senate by a majority of more 
than two to one ; but it was strenuously opposed by 
the principal members of the democratic party, particu- 
larly Mr. Monroe, and was disapproved by the same 
party m the House of Representatives, 

As a war seemed inevitable, if Mr. Jay's mission 
should terminate unfavorably. Congress passed acts for 
putting the country in a state of defence. The prin- 
cipal harbours were to be fortified, and eighty thou- 
sand militia to be held in readiness for immediate ser- 
vice. The importation of arms was permitted free of 
duty, and the President was authorized to purchase 
galleys, and lay an embargo, if he should think the 
public interests required it Additional taxes were lev- 
ied to meet the expense. 

Congress adjourned, after a long and boisterous ses- 
sion, which had contributed not a little to increase the 
acrimony of parties, multiply the causes of dissension, 
and inflame the minds of the people. The adminis- 
tration, however, stood firm; and neither the policy 
nor the opmions of Washington were in any degree 
changed. In fact, having no personal objects to gain, 
thinking and acting only for his country, divested of 
partiality and prejudice as far as it was possible for 
any man to be, and invariably taking counsel of his 
conscience and judgment, he stood aloof fix)m the com- 
motions of party and the contagious influence of party 
spirit Justice to all nations, peace with all, and a 
preparation for war as the best safeguard of peace, 
were the rules of his policy, and his constant aim. 

In the course of the preceding winter, M. Fauchet 
arrived in the United States as minister from France. 

VOL. I. 63 pp* 



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498 LIFE OF WASHINGTON. [1794. 

At the request of the French government, Mr. Morris 
was recalled, and James Monroe was appointed as his 
successor. This selection afforded a strong proof of the 
impartiality of the President, and of his ardent desire 
to conciliate differences at home, and preserve amity 
with foreign nations, Mr. Monroe, being a leader among 
the opponents to the administration, had shown himself 
a zealous advocate for France. 

Soon after Congress adjourned, the President's atten- 
tion was called to another subject, of very serious im- 
port, both as it regarded the authority of the laws, and 
the stability of the union. The act of Congress impos- 
ing a tax on distilled spirits had, fix)m its first operation, 
excited much uneasiness in various parts of the country, 
and in some districts it had been evaded and openly 
resisted. The inspectors of the revenue appointed by 
the government were insulted, threatened, and even 
prevented by force from discharging their duty. To so 
great a length had these outrages gone in some places, 
as early as September, 1792, that a proclamation was 
published by the President, admonishmg all persons to 
refrain from combinations and proceedmgs, which ob- 
structed the execution of the laws, and requiring the 
magistrates and courts to exert the powers vested in 
them for bringing to justice the offenders. Bills of m- 
dictment were found against some of these persons, and 
the marshal attempted to serve the processes issued by 
the court. He was met by a body of armed men, 
seized, detamed, and harshly treated. The malecon- 
tents proceeded from one degree of excess to another, 
holding seditious meetings, arming themselves, abusing 
the officers of the government, and bidding defiance to 
the laws, till they assumed the attitude of insurrection, 
and prepared for an organized resistance. 

The moderation and forbearance, which, according to 



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MT.m.] LIFE OF WASHINGTON. 499 

his usual practice, the President had exercised towards 
these deluded people for more than two years, served 
only to increase their violence, and encourage their de- 
termined spirit of hostility. He could no longer hesi- 
tate, as to the course he ought to pursue. He resolved 
to employ the means intrusted to him by the laws, and 
suppress the insurrection by a military force. As a 
preparatory step, he issued a proclamation, dated on 
the 7th of August, in which, after briefly narrating the 
criminal transactions of the insurgents, and what had 
been done by the government to allay their discontents 
and turn them from their treasonable practices, he de- 
clared his determination to execute the laws by calling 
the militia to his aid, and commanded the insurgents 
and all persons concerned in abetting their acts to dis- 
perse and retire peaceably to their abodes before the 
first day of September. 

Having sent out this proclamation, as a preliminary 
measure exacted by the laws, he next made a requbi- 
tion for militia on the governors of New Jersey, Penn- 
sylvania, Maryland, and Virginia. The insurgents chiefly 
resided in the western counties of Pennsylvania. It 
was supposed there were among them about sixteen 
thousand men capable of bearing arms, and that they 
could bring at least seven thousand into active service. 
The number of militia at first ordered out was twelve 
thousand, and it was subsequently increased to fifteen 
thousand. The Governors of Pennsylvania and New 
Jersey took the field at the head of the troops fit)m their 
respective States, and the command of the whole was 
conferred on Governor Lee of Virgmia.* The place 



• The rank of the principal officers, as stated in Washington's Diary, 
was as follows ; first, Governor Lee, commander-in-chief; second, Grovemor 
Mifflin; third, Governor Howell; fourth. General Daniel Morgan. The 
comparative rank of the brigadiers is not mentioned. General Hand was 
appointed adjutant-general. 



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500 LIFE OP WASHINGTON. (1794. 

of rendezvous for the Pennsylvania and New Jersey 
troops was Bedford. Those from Virginia and Mary- 
land assembled at Cumberland, the site of Old Fort 
Cumberland, at the junction of WilPs Creek with the 
Potomac River. From every quarter the militia came 
forward with alacrity, and the best disposition was shown 
by officers and privates to execute the orders of the 
government 

The President, accompanied by the Secretary of War, 
inspected the army at the two places of rendezvous. 
He went, by way of Harrisburg and Carlisle, first to 
Cumberland, and thence to Bedford, these places being 
about thirty miles apart He gave directions for each 
division to march across the Allegany Mountmns, meet 
on the other side, and act against the insurgents as cir- 
cumstances should requh*e. Ascertaining fi*om personal 
examination that every thing was in readiness, and leav- 
ing written instructions with General Lee, he returned 
to Philadelphia. Congress was soon to meet, and it 
was important for him to be there at that time. He 
was absent four weeks. 

When he left home he intended to cross the moun- 
tains and lead the army in person, if this should seem 
expedient; but the intelligence he received on the way, 
and the spirit which animated the troops, convinced him 
that the insurgents would make no formidable resist- 
ance to such a force, and that his farther attendance on 
the expedition was not necessary. The Secretary of 
War went on with the army to Pittsburg. The result 
was even more fortunate than could have been expect- 
ed. No resistance was attempted, and no blood was 
shed. To preserve quiet, and secure what had been 
gained, a body of troops continued for some time in 
the disaffected country under the command of General 
Morgan. 



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iET.62.] LIFE OP WASHINGTON. 601 

In the President's speech to Congress, after mention- 
mg somewhat in detail the course he had taken to 
suppress the insurrection, he recommended further pro- 
visions for defence, particularly a reform of the militia 
system, and also advised that some plan should be 
adopted for redeeming the public debt, which now 
amounted to about seventy-six millions of dollars. While 
this last subject was under discussion in Congress, the 
Secretary of the Treasury reported a scheme, which he 
had matured on the basis of the laws previously enacted 
for regulating the fiscal operations of the government. 
A sinking fund had already been established by setting 
apart for that purpose a portion of certain specified 
taxes ; and he proposed that this fund should be enlarged 
by increasing the duties on imports, tonnage, and dis- 
tilled spirits, by the money accruing fix)m the sales of 
public lands, the dividends on bank stock, and the sur- 
plus revenue remaining after the annual appropriations 
had been expended, and that the fund, thus increased, 
should be applied to the redemption of the debt This 
report occasioned much debate, but the secretary's plan 
was substantially approved, and an act conformable to 
it was passed. 

Before the end of the session, Hamilton resigned the 
office of Secretary of the Treasury. The vacancy was 
filled by Oliver Wolcott, who was strongly recommend- 
ed by Hamilton, and whose character was well known 
and highly respected by the President. General Knox 
likewise retired from the war department, and was suc- 
ceeded by Timothy Pickering, at that time Postmaster- 
general, whose services m the revolution had qualified 
him in an eminent degree for executing the duties of 
Secretary of War. 



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602 LIFE OF WASHINGTON. [1795. 



CHAPTER XIX. 

The British Treaty ratified by the Senate. — Popular Excitement respect- 
ing it — The Treaty confirmed by the Signature of the President — 
Resignation of Mr. Randolph. — Circumstances attending it — The 
President refuses to furnish Papers to the House of Representatives in 
relation to the British Treaty. ^Captivity of Lafayette, and Means 
used by Washington to procure his Liberation. — Difficulties with 
France in regard to the British Treaty. — Recall of Mr. Monroe. — 
Washington's Farewell Address. — His last Speech to Congress. — 
Inauguration of his Successor. — Testimony of Respect shown to hmi 
by the Citizens of Philadelphia. — He retires to Mount Vernon. — Re- 
view of his Administration. — Remarks on Mr. Jefierson's Conduct to- 
wards Washington. — Troubles with France. — Preparations for War. 
— Washington appointed Commander-in-chief of the Provisional Army 
of the United States. — Organization and Arrangement of the Army. — 
His last Illness and Death. 

The treaty with Great Britain, negotiated by Mr. 
Jay, arrived at the seat of government in March, shortly 
after the session of Congress was closed. The Consti- 
tution had provided, that all treaties should be ratified 
by the Senate, and the President summoned that body 
to meet in June, for the purpose of considering it 

In the mterval, he exammed and studied the treaty 
with the closest attention. It was not altogether such 
as he wished, perhaps not such as he had hoped. 
Points were left untouched, which he would gladly have 
seen introduced and definitively settled; others were 
so arranged, that he feared they would not prove a suf- 
ficient guard agmnst future difficulties between the two 
nations. But he had perfect confidence in the ability, 
knowledge, and patriotism of Mr. Jay. He was con- 
vmced, that more favorable terms could not be obtained, 
and that the only alternative was this treaty or none. 
Some valuable privileges were secured, nothing had been 
sacrificed, the national honor was maintained, and a 



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^T.63.] LIFE OF WASHINGTON. 503 

pledge of amity was held out If the treaty was re- 
jected, a war would certainly follow, the calamities of 
which, in the actual state of Europe, would be incalcu- 
lable, and no one could predict when they would end, 
or to what they would lead. Deeply impressed with 
these sentiments, and believing peace the greatest bles- 
sing his country could possess, he resolved, in case the 
treaty should be approved by the Senate, to affix to it 
his signature. 

The Senate assembled m June, and, after two weeks' 
discussion, advised the ratification. One article, how- 
ever, was excepted. By this article it was stipulated, 
that a direct trade between the United States and the 
British West India Islands should be allowed to Ameri- 
can vessels not exceeding the burden of seventy tons, 
laden with the produce of the States or of the Islands ; 
but that molasses, sugar, coflfee, cocoa, and cotton 
should not be transported in American vessels, either 
Irom the United States or the Islands, to any part of the 
world. As cotton was then becoming a product of 
much importance in the southern States, and had begun 
to be exported, this restriction was deemed inadmissible ; 
and the ratification of the Senate was to be valid only 
on condition that an article should be introduced, can- 
celling the one in which the restriction was contained. 
Nor was there a unanimity even with this limitation. A 
bare constitutional majority, that is, exactly two thirds 
of the members, voted in favor of the treaty. 

As this was a novel case, the President was some- 
what at a loss to determine how to dispose of it 
Whether the act of the Senate could be regarded as a 
ratification of the treaty, before this new article should 
be approved by the British government, and whether 
his signature could properly be affixed to it previously 
to that event, were questions which he took time to 



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604 LIFE OF WASHINGTON. [1795. 

consider. A new obstacle was thrown in the way by 
mtelligence from Europe, that the British cabinet had 
renewed the order for seizing provisions in vessels 
bound to French ports. As this order might imply a 
construction of the treaty, which could never be admit- 
ted in the United States, it was necessary still further 
to suspend his decision. Viewing the subject in all its 
relations, however, he inclined to the opinion, that it 
was best to ratify the treaty with the condition pre- 
scribed by the Senate, and at the same time to accom- 
pany it with a memorial or remonstrance to the British 
government against the provision order. 

Meantime the treaty was published. At first an un- 
perfect abstract only appeared; but a complete copy 
was soon after furnished by a member of the Senate to 
the editor of a newspaper. It thus came clandestinely 
before the public, without the authority of the executive, 
and without any of the ofiicial documents and corre- 
spondence, by which the objects and reasons of the 
negotiators could be explained. It was dissected, criti- 
cized, and condemned, in a tone of passionate and 
violent declamation, which could scarcely have been 
exceeded, if the instrument had reduced the United 
States to their former colonial dependence on England. 
The merits of the treaty were studiously kept out of 
sight, and all its objectionable parts were thrust forward, 
exaggerated, and censured as disgraceful and humiliating 
to the nation. It was impossible that a clamor so loud 
and so universal should not produce a strong impres- 
sion upon every class of the community. The friends 
of the administration rallied in its defence, but they 
used the weapons of reason and argument ; they talked 
of moderation and peace, of consistency and good faith. 
They found few patient listeners, and fewer impartial 
judges. The torrent was neither to be stemmed, nor 



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iET.G3.] LIFE OF WASHINGTON. 505 

diverted from its course. Public meetings were held ; 
and resolutions and addresses condemning the treaty, 
and designed to have a popular effect, and to intimidate 
the executive, were voted, published, and widely cir- 
culated among the people. 

The first resolves of this sort proceeded from a meet- 
ing in Boston. They were forwarded by an express 
to the President, with a letter from the selectmen of the 
town. He received them at Baltimore, while on his 
way to Mount Vernon. Ten days afterwards, having 
carefully reviewed the subject, and ascertained the sen- 
timents of the cabinet, he answered the letter. It had 
been his aim, he said, in every act of his admmistration, 
to seek the happiness of his fellow-citizens, to discard 
personal, local, and partial considerations, to look upon 
the United States as one nation, and to consult only 
their substantial and permanent interests. " Without a 
predilection for my own judgment,'' he added, " I have 
weighed with attention every argument, which has at 
any time been brought into view. But the Constitution 
is the guide, which I never can abandon. It has as- 
signed to the President the power of makmg treaties, 
with the advice and consent of the Senate. It was 
doubtiess supposed, that these two branches of govern- 
ment would combine, without passion, and with the 
best means of information, those facts and principles, 
upon which the success of our foreign relations will 
always depend; that they ought not to substitute for 
their own conviction the opinions of others, or to seek 
truth through any channel but that of a temperate and 
well-informed investigation. Under this persuasion, I 
have resolved on the manner of executing the duty 
before me. To the high responsibility attached to it, 
I freely submit ; and you, Gentiemen, are at liberty to 
make these sentiments known as the grounds of my 

VOL. I. 64 QQ 



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606 LIFE OF WASHINGTON. [1795. 

procedure. While I feel the most lively gratitude for 
the many mstances of approbation from my country, I 
can no otherwise deserve it, than by obeying the die* 
tates of my conscience." To these sentiments he 
steadily adhered, and he answered many of the ad- 
dresses sent to him in nearly the same language. 

From the excitement that prevailed, however, and 
from the resolves of meetings in all parts of the country, 
he soon perceived, that a formidable attempt was making 
to stir up the people, with a view of operating on the 
executive. To defeat this purpose, and to put an end 
to the disorders hourly increasmg by the combined 
action of over-heated zeal, artifice, and party spirit, he 
returned to Philadelphia, summoned the cabinet, and 
submitted the proposition for immediately ratifymg the 
treaty. It was approved by all the members except 
the Secretary of State, who, although he had before 
been in favor of it, now thought the step premature, till 
the provision order should be revoked, and the war 
between England and France should cease. This opin- 
ion had no effect on the President. He signed the 
treaty, the order was in due time repealed, and the rat- 
ification, on the terms advised by the Senate, was re- 
ciprocated by the British government 

It would be impossible, within the limits of the present 
narrative, to sketch even an outline of the transactions 
relating to this treaty. No more can be said, than that 
the controversy, occasioned by it, increased the violence 
of party discord to almost an incredible extent ; and that 
even the motives and character of Washington did not 
escape a full measure of the abuse, which was poured 
out upon all, who approved the acts of the administration. 
Regardless of truth and decorum, his detractors assailed 
him with a license and malignity, which showed an utter 
despair of accomplishing their ends by honorable means. 



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iET. C3,] LIFE OF WASHINGTON. 507 

But however they might excite his commiseration, they 
could not disturb his peace of mind. "I have long 
since resolved,** said he, writing to the governor of 
Maryland, "for the present time at least, to let my 
calumniators proceed without any notice being taken of 
their mvectives by myself, or by any others with my 
participation or knowledge. Their views, I dare say, 
are readily perceived by all the enlightened and well- 
disposed part of the community; and by the records 
of my administration, and not by the voice of faction, 
I expect to be acquitted or condemned hereafter.** 

In relation to the treaty, time disappointed its ene- 
mies, and more than fulfilled the expectations of its 
fnends. It saved the country from a war, improved its 
commerce, and served in no small degree to lay the 
foundation of its durable prosperity. The great points, 
which were said to be sacrificed or neglected, the im- 
pressment of seamen, neutral rights, and colonial trade, 
have never yet been settled, and are never likely to be 
settled satisfactorily, while England mamtains the as- 
cendency she now holds on the ocean. 

The day following that on which the President affixed 
his name to the treaty, Mr. Randolph resigned the 
office of Secretary of State. The circumstances are 
these. While Washington was at Mount Vernon, the 
British minister, Mr. Hammond, put into the hands of 
the Secretary of the Treasury a letter fi'om M. Fauchet 
to the French government, which had been intercepted 
at sea, whence it found its way to the British cabinet, 
and was forwarded to Mr. Hammond. The letter was 
translated by Mr. Pickering, and shown to the Presi- 
dent when he arrived in Philadelphia. Its contents 
were such, as to excite suspicions of Mr. Randolph's 
conduct. It appeared that his political relations with 
the French minister had been more intimate and con- 



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508 LIFE OF WASHINGTON. [1795. 

fidential, than was compatible with the office he held 
in the administration. At all events, it seemed a fair 
inference from the language of the letter, that M. Fau- 
chet valued his services as having been useful to the 
French interests, and calculated on them for the future. 

In the presence of the other members of the cabinet, 
the President handed this letter to Mr. Randolph and 
asked an explanation. He had not before heard of it; 
and, although he read it without emotion, he expressed 
much displeasure at the President's manner of bringing 
it to his notice, and complained that he did not first 
converse with him on the subject privately. He said 
that he wished more leisure to examine the letter, be- 
fore making any detailed remarks on its contents, but 
added, that, considering the treatment he had received, 
he could not think of remaining in his office a moment 
longer. Accordingly he sent in his resignation the 
same day. 

Mr. Randolph published a pamphlet vindicating his 
conduct, and explaming such parts of the intercepted 
letter as related to him. From M. Fauchet, who was 
then on the point of leaving the country, he also ob- 
tained a certificate, in which that minister declared, that 
in his letter he had no intention to say any thing to the 
disadvantage of Mr. Randolph's character. The state- 
ments presented by Mr. Randolph, m proof of his inno- 
cence, were not such as to produce entire conviction; 
but the nature of his task rendered it difficult, if not 
impossible, for him to adduce positive evidence. He 
moreover allowed himself to be betrayed into a warmth 
of temper, and bitterness of feeling, not altogether fa- 
vorable to his candor. After all that has been made 
known, the particulars of his conversations with Fau- 
chet, and his designs, are still matters of conjecture. 

One fact connected with this affair should be men- 



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^T. 63.] LIFE OF WASHINGTON. 509 

tioned, as being highly creditable to Washington. In 
preparing his vindication, Mr. Randolph applied for a 
certain letter, and intimated that papers were withheld. 
Washington said, in reply ; " That you may have no 
cause to complain of the withholding of any paper, 
however private and confidential, which you shall think 
necessary in a case of so serious a nature, I have di- 
rected that you should have the inspection of my letter 
agreeably to your request, and you are at full liberty 
to publish without reserve any and every private and 
confidential letter I ever wrote to you ; nay, more, every 
word I ever uttered to you, or in your hearing, from 
whence you can derive any advantage in your vindica- 
tion." When it is remembered, that Mr. Randolph had 
been in the cabinet from the beginnmg of the admin- 
istration, the liberty here given affords a striking proof 
of the consciousness felt by Washington of the perfect 
rectitude of his own proceedings. 

Mr. Pickering was transferred from the war depart- 
ment to the oflSce of Secretary of State, and James 
M*^Henry of Maryland was appointed Secretary of War. 
Mr. Bradford, the Attorney-general, had recently died. 
He was succeeded by Charles Lee of Virginia. 

The foreign relations of the United States had begun 
to put on a more favorable aspect Treaties were nego- 
tiated with Spain and Algiers, by which the prisoners 
who had been in bondage for many years under the 
latter power, were released, and the difiiculties with 
the former, respecting boundaries and the navigation 
of the Mississippi, were amicably adjusted. The vic- 
tory of General Wayne had also smoothed the way to 
a treaty with the Indians. On this state of affairs the 
President congratulated both houses of Congress, when 
he met them at the opening of the session. 

But the British treaty was destined to be a cause of 



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610 LIFE OF WASHINGTON. [1796 

Still further agitation. Great exertions had been made 
throughout the country to obtain signatures to petitions 
against it, which were to be presented to the House 
of Representatives. And, when the treaty was sub- 
mitted to Congress, as having been ratified by his Brit- 
annic Majesty, the members opposed to it indicated a 
determined purpose to defeat its operation by refusing 
to pass the laws necessary for carrying it into eflTect 
The warfare was commenced by a resolution, to which 
a large majority assented, requesting the President to 
lay before the House the instructions to Mr. Jay, and 
the correspondence and other documents relating to 
the negotiation. 

This request imposed a delicate task on the Presi- 
dent. In his opinion, the power to form treaties rested 
wholly with the chief magistrate and the Senate, and 
he believed that the House of Representatives had no 
right to make a demand, which would imply an en- 
croachment on this power, nor in any manner to inter- 
fere with the negotiation of treaties. Yet, in the present 
excited state of public feeling, a refusal of the request 
would expose him to the charge of showing disrespect 
to the representatives of the people, raise suspicions of 
his motives, and probably furnish a pretext for insm- 
uations, that he had personal reasons for concealment. 

From the line of duty, however, he was never known 
to deviate ; and in this case it was too plam to be mis- 
taken. In his answer to the communication from the 
house, he refused a compliance with the request, and 
gave hb reasons. He said it was clear to his mind, 
that the power of making treaties was vested by the 
Constitution exclusively m the President, with the ad- 
vice and consent of the Senate ; that, having been a 
member of the convention, he knew this was the un- 
derstanding of the framers of the Constitution ; that the 



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JSt.64.] life of WASHINGTON. 611 

subject was fully discussed; that there were reasons 
for believmg the state conventions understood it in the 
same way; that this construction had hitherto been 
acquiesced in by the House of Representatives ; and 
that a just regard to the Constitution, and to the duty 
of his office, required him to resist the principle con- 
tended for by the house. If allowed to be put in 
practice, it would destroy the confidence of foreign 
powers in the executive, derange the government, and 
lead to the most mischievous consequences, when it 
would be too late to apply a remedy. 

The members, who voted for the resolution, were 
not prepared for this refusal; nor did they conceal 
their disappointment and dissatisfaction. The message 
gave rise to a debate, which continued for many days, 
and in which the merits of the treaty, and the consti- 
tutional powers of the several departments of the gov- 
ernment, were elaborately discussed. Passion, party 
zeal, eloquence, and argument were all brought to 
bear on the subject; and the speeches show, that both 
sides of the question were maintained with unusual 
ability and force of reasoning. In the end, a majority 
of the members who were opposed to the treaty yield- 
ed to the exigency of the case, and, probably more 
from expediency than conviction, united in passing the 
laws necessary for its fulfilment 

Among the events, which contributed to harass the 
mmd and weigh upon the spirits of Washington, none 
aflected him more keenly than the captivity of Lafayette. 
Gratitude for the services rendered by Lafayette to the 
United States in times of distress and peril, a respect for 
his character, founded on a long and intimate acquain- 
tance, and a knowledge of his pure and disinterested 
prmciples, had created an ardent attachment, of which 
many proofs have been exhibited in this narrative, and 



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512 LIFE OF WASHINGTON. [1796. 

many others might be added. In proportion to the 
strength of this attachment was his affliction at the 
sufferings of his friend. 

After receiving the intelligence of his capture, Wash- 
ington wrote letters to the Marchioness de Lafayette, 
expressive of his sympathy, and affording all the con- 
solation m his power. His regret was the greater, be- 
cause, bemg at the head of the nation, the family of 
Lafayette, and the friends of humanity in Europe, ex- 
pected much from his aid; while in reality he could 
do nothing more, except by his personal influence, than 
any other individual. Lafayette was a prisoner, first 
in the Prussian dominions, and next in the Austrian. 
There was no diplomatic intercourse between those 
countries and the United States. Hence the Ameri- 
can government, without authority to make a demand 
or power to enforce it, either directly or through the 
agency of other governments, could take no decisive 
steps for his release. 

Instructions were sent, and often repeated, to the 
American ministers at foreign courts, directmg them 
to use all their efforts in his favor. These instructions 
were faithfully obeyed. Nothing more could be done. 
The mediation of the British cabinet was sought, but 
not obtained. That he might leave no means untried, 
Washington at last wrote a letter to the Emperor of 
Germany, stating his friendship for Lafayette, suggest- 
ing in delicate terms that his sufferings had perhaps 
been as great as the nature of his case demanded, and 
requesting that he might be permitted to come to the 
United States under such restrictions as his Majesty, the 
Emperor, might think it expedient to prescribe. What 
influence this letter may have had on the mind of the 
Emperor, or on the fate of Lafayette, is not known. 
When restored to liberty, he was delivered over, by 



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iET.64.] LIFE OP WASHINGTON. 513 

order of the Austrian government, to the American con- 
sul at Hamburg. 

When the wife and daughters of Lafayette left France, 
to join him in the prison of Olmutz, his son, Greorge 
Washington Lafayette, came to the United States. He 
was affectionately received into the family of President 
Washmgton, where he resided nearly two years, till 
he returned to Europe on hearing of the liberation of 
his father. 

Not long after the treaty was conditionally ratified 
by the Senate, a copy of it was ftimished to the French 
minister, M. Adet, the successor of M. Fauchet He 
objected to some parts of it, as at variance with the 
treaty subsisting between France and the United States. 
His objections were answered by the Secretary of State, 
and such explanations were given as showed, that the 
treaty could in no degree injure the interests of France, 
and that the government of the United States was re- 
solved faithfully to fulfil their compact with that nation, 
according to the strict principles of neutrality, which it 
was bound to observe in regard to the belligerent pow- 
ers of Europe. But the rulers of the French republic 
had viewed with jealousy Mr. Jay's negotiation, as di- 
mmishing their hope of a war between Great Britain and 
the United States; and it is not surprising, that they 
should be quick to find out points in the treaty, which, 
by their construction, might be turned to the disadvan- 
tage of France. Foreseemg this result, and anxious 
to remove every ground of dissatisfaction, Washmgton 
caused very full instructions to be sent to Mr. Monroe, 
that he might be able to explain the articles of the 
treaty, as understood by the American government, and 
also their designs and conduct in making it. 

From the tenor of Mr. Monroe's letters, and from 
the proceedings of the French Directory, the President 

VOL. I. 65 



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514 LIFE OP WASHINGTON. [1796. 

was led to believe, that the minister had been back- 
ward in using his instructions, and m furnishing the 
required explanations. It was known, likewise, that 
he was hostile to the treaty ; and (rf course, with the 
best disposition to do his duty, he could hardly enter 
into the views of the government with the zeal, and 
represent them with the force of conviction, which the 
importance of the occasion demanded. The only rem- 
edy was to send out another minister. It was resolv- 
ed, therefore, to recall Mr. Monroe, and make a new 
appomtment This resolution was unanimously ap- 
proved by the cabinet Mr. Monroe was accordingly 
recalled, and Charles Cotesworth Pinckney was sent 
to supply his place. 

Some months previously, Mr. Thomas Pinckney had 
been permitted to return home, having discharged the 
duties of his office in England, and on a mission for 
negotiating a treaty at Madrid, to the entire satisfaction 
of the executive and of his country. Rufus King, who 
had been a senator from the beginning of the new 
government, was appointed as his successor at the 
court of Great Britain. 

When the second period of four years, for which 
Washington had been elected to the Presidency, was 
approaching its termination, many of hb friends, con- 
cerned at the present state of the country, and fearing 
the consequences of the heats and divisions that would 
arise in choosing his successor, pressed hun earnestly 
to make a still further sacrifice of his inclination to the 
public good. But his purpose was fixed, and not to be 
changed. He believed that he had done enough, and 
that he might now, without any dereliction of duty, 
resign the helm of government into other hands. Hav- 
ing determined to retire, he thought proper to make 
this determination known in a formal manner, and at 



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iEr.64.] LIFE OF WASHINGTON. 515 

SO early a day, as to enable his fellow-citizens to turn 
their thoughts to other candidates, and prepare for a 
new election. 

Accordingly his Farewell Address to the people of 
the United States was published on the 15th of Sep- 
tember, nearly six months before his term of office 
expired. In this paper are embodied the results of his 
long experience in public aflFairs, and a system of policy, 
which in his opinion was the best suited to msure to 
his country the blessings of union, peace, and pros- 
perity, and the respect of other nations. For the vigor 
of its language, the soundness of its maxims, the wis- 
dom of its counsels, and its pure and elevated senti- 
ments, this performance is unrivalled; and the lapse 
of forty years has rather increased than diminished the 
admiration with which it was universally received. The 
sensation, which it produced in every class of the com- 
munity, was as strong as it has been permanent. Even 
the fierce spirit of party could not resist the impulse, 
nor weaken its force. The State legislatures, when 
they assembled, and other public bodies, voted address- 
es and thanks to the President, expressing a cordial 
approbation of his conduct during the eight years in 
which he had filled the office of chief magistrate, and 
their deep regret that the nation was to be deprived 
of his services. In some of the States, the Farewell 
Address was printed and published with the laws by 
order of the legislatures, as an evidence of the value 
they attached to its political precepts, and of their af- 
fection for its author.* 

The two houses of Congress came together in De- 
cember, and Washington met them for the last time. 



* See the Farewell Address, and various particulars relating to it, 
in Volume XII. pp. 214, 382. 



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516 LIFE OP WASHINGTON. [1797. 

As he had usually done in his former speeches, he first 
presented a clear and comprehensive view of the con- 
dition of the country, and the executive proceedings 
within the last year, and then recommended to their 
consideration certain measures, which he deemed im- 
portant. Among these were the gradual increase of 
the navy, a provision for the encouragement of agricul- 
ture and manufactures, the establishment of a national 
university, and the institution of a military acade- 
my. The relations with France were made the sub- 
ject of a separate message. At the end of his speech 
he said ; 

"The situation in which I now stand, for the last 
time, in the midst of the representatives of the people 
of the United States, naturally recalls the period when 
the administration of the present form of government 
commenced; and I cannot omit the occasion to con- 
gratulate you and my country, on the success of the 
experiment, nor to repeat my fervent supplications to 
the Supreme Ruler of the Universe and Sovereign Ar- 
biter of Nations, that his providential care may still be 
extended to the United States ; that the virtue and 
happiness of the people may be preserved ; and that 
the government, which they have instituted for the 
protection of their liberties, may be perpetual** 

Little was done during the session. Public atten- 
tion was engrossed with the pending election. The 
votes of the electors were returned to Congress, and 
in February they were opened and counted in the 
presence of both houses. It appeared that John Adams 
was chosen President, and Thomas Jefferson Vice-Pres- 
ident, the former having the highest number of votes, 
and the latter the next highest The strength of the 
parties was tried in this contest. Mr. Adams was sup- 
ported by the friends of the administration, or the fed- 



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iET.65.] LIFE OP WASHINGTON. 517 

eral party, and Mr. Jefferson by its opponents, or the 
democratic party. 

On the 4th of March the President elect took the 
oath of office and assumed its duties. The ceremony 
was performed in the hall of the House of Represen- 
tatives, and in the same manner as had been practised 
on former occasions. Washington was present as a 
spectator, happy in resigning the burden of his office, 
and gratified to see it confided to one, whose long and 
patriotic services in the cause of hb country rendered 
him worthy of so high a trust. 

The citizens of Philadelphia celebrated the day by 
a testimony of respect for the man, whom they, in 
common with the whole nation, loved and revered. A 
splendid entertainment was prepared, which was de- 
signed for him as the principal guest, and to which 
were invited foreign ministers, the heads of the depart- 
ments, officers of rank, and other distinguished per- 
sons. A spacious rotunda was fitted up for the occa- 
sion, in which were elegant decorations, emblematical 
paintings, fanciful devices, and a landscape represent- 
ing Mount Vernon and the scenery around it, all con- 
spiring to revive associations connected with the life 
of Washington. 

The following anecdote was communicated by the 
late Bishop White. "On the day before President 
Washington retired from office, a large company dined 
with him. Among them were the foreign mmisters and 
their ladies, Mr. and Mrs. Adams, Mr. Jefferson, and 
other conspicuous persons of both sexes. During the 
dinner much hilarity prevailed ; but, on the removal of 
the cloth, it was put an end to by the President, cer- 
tainly without design. Having filled his glass, he ad- 
dressed the company, with a smile, as nearly as can be 
recollected in the following words ; * Ladies and gen- 

VOL. I. RR 



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518 LIFE OP WASHINGTON. [1797. 

tlemen, this is the last time I shall drink your health as 
a public man. I do it with smcerity, wishing you all 
possible happiness/ There was an end of all pleasan- 
try. He, who gives this relation, accidentally directed 
his eye to the lady of the British minister, Mrs. Liston, 
and tears were runnmg down her cheeks.^ 

Bemg once more a private citizen, and having already 
made preparation for his departure, he proceeded im- 
mediately with his family to Mount Vernon. In passmg 
along the road he was welcomed with the same hearty 
demonstrations of attachment, as when clothed with the 
dignity and power of oflSce. Before he reached Balti- 
more, he was met by a military escort and a large con- 
course of the inhabitants, who accompanied him into 
the city ; and it was not till he had actually arrived at 
his own mansion, in the tranquil retreat of Mount Ver- 
non, that he could say he was no longer a public man. 

In reviewing the administration of Washington, now 
that the effervescence of party is subsided, and in 
tracmg its effects on the formation and progress of the 
government, there can hardly be a difference of opin- 
ion. No one can doubt its wbdom or its success* 
Whether another system, more conformable to the views 
of those who opposed his principal measures, might 
not have operated equally well, is not a question which 
needs to be discussed. When a great and permanent 
good has been done, with the purest motives on the 
part of the actor, it is not necessary, in forming a just 
estimate of this good, to inquire by what other means 
the same end might have been attained. 

Notwithstanding the innumerable embarrassments, 
which attended the first operations of the new gov- 
ernment, the nation was never more prosperous than 
while Washmgton was at its head. Credit was re- 
stored, and established on a sound basis; the public 



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iET.65.) LIFE OF WASHINGTON. 519 

debt was secured, and its ultimate payment provided 
for; commerce had increased beyond any former ex- 
ample; the amount of tonnage in the ports of the 
United States had nearly doubled ; the imports and 
exports had augmented in a considerably larger ratio ; 
and the revenue was much more abundant than had 
been expected. The war with the Indians was con- 
ducted to a successful issue; and a peace was conclud- 
ed, which promised quiet to the frontier inhabitants, 
and advantages to the uncivilized tribes. Treaties had 
been made with foreign powers, in which long stand- 
ing disputes were amicably settled, contending claims 
adjusted, and important privileges gsdned to the United 
States. The relations with France alone remained in a 
state of incertitude and perplexity ; and this was owing 
to the condition of affairs in Europe, and not to any 
thing that had grown out of the acts or policy of the 
American government 

Much having been said and published respecting Mr. 
Jefferson's conduct towards Washington, after the form- 
er retired from the office of Secretary of State, it may 
have been expected that some additional facts would 
appear in this narrative. Such an expectation, however, 
I have no means of gratifying. Among Washington's 
papers I have found nothing, which can afford any new 
elucidation. It has been supposed, that, after his death, 
certam papers were abstracted from his manuscripts, 
which contained matters unfavorable to Mr. Jefferson. 
He was in the habit of writing his diary in small books, 
and some of these books, written during the period in 
question, are missing. It may be observed also, that, 
for the last three or four years of his life, there is no 
record of a correspondence between him and Mr. Jef- 
ferson, nor any papers of importance in which the name 
of the latter is more than incidentally alluded to. When 



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520 LIFE OP WASHINGTON. [1797. 

I mentioned the subject to Judge Washington, he re- 
plied cautiously, that he had never charged any person 
with having abstracted papers. Indeed, the nature of 
the case scarcely admitted of positive proof. But, with- 
out discussing the question, or examining the conjec- 
tural evidence which has been adduced, I will only 
remark, that I am conmced the suspicion of papers 
having been taken away, for the purpose alleged, must 
rest on a very slight foundation. 

There can be no doubt, however, that Washington's 
feelings were wounded by some parts of Mr. Jefferson's 
conduct, as well as by conversations which were re- 
ported to him as having been held at MonticeDo. He 
had reposed unlimited confidence in Mr. Jefferson, and 
shown towards him at all times a sincere and unwav- 
ering attachment ; and he was not prepared to receive 
the returns of ingratitude and disrespect, which these 
conversations seemed to imply. The £Eimous letter to 
Mazzei, however it may be explained, could not have 
been read by Washington without pain. The unquali- 
fied censure of the administration, which it contained, 
necessarily included him as the head of the adminis- 
tration. After he retired fi-om the Presidency, an insid- 
ious letter was sent to him through the post-office, the 
object of which was to draw fix)m him political remarics 
and opinions. It was accidentally discovered, that this 
letter was subscribed with a fictitious signature, and that 
it came from a person, who resided near Mr. Jefferson, 
associated intimately with him, and participated in his 
political sentiments. It was not ascertained, nor per- 
haps fully believed, that Mr. Jefferson was accessory to 
this proceeding ; but the circumstances were such, as to 
make a strong impression upon the mind of Washington. 
It is also remaAable, that, while Mr. Jefferson was Vice- 
President, although he passed near Mount Vernon m 



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iET.65.] LIFE OF WASHINGTON. 521 

his journeys between Monticello and Philadelphia, to 
attend Congress at two regular sessions and one extra 
session before Washington's death, he never paid him 
a visit nor saw him after they separated at the time of 
Mr. Adams's inauguration. 

A decisive judgment on this subject ought not to 
be formed, however, without considering the position in 
which Mr. Jefferson was placed, and his own testimony. 
As the head of a party opposed to the administration, 
he was the centre of action to that party; and he would 
necessarily be led to remark on public transactions, and 
to express his disapprobation of them. Ai such times, 
his conversation may have been misinterpreted by his 
watchful opponents as applying to Washington, when 
in reality he had in view only the system of measures to 
which he gave his support. If it is difficult in this case 
to separate the measures from the man, and the censure 
of the one from that of the other, it must be remem- 
bered, that the difficulty is inherent in the case itself, 
and that there was no other way by which Mr. Jefferson 
could escape from it, entertaining such opinions as he 
did, than by abstaining altogether from speaking on 
public affairs. This forbearance was not to be expected, 
nor was it to be required of him, more than of any 
other person. 

Again, Mr. Jefferson has affirmed that no correspon- 
dence took place between him and Washington, during 
the interval in which none has been found among the 
papers of the latter; that he always believed him to 
be firmly attached to the republican principles of the 
constitution, and determined to sustain them at all haz- 
ards ; and that neither in the letter to Mazzei, nor on 
any other occasion, did he intend to include Washington 
among those, whom he charged with moulding the 
government into monarchical and aristocratical forms. 

VOL. I. 66 RR* 



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622 LIFE OF WASHINGTON. [1797. 

The substance of this declaration is often repeated in his 
published letters. In one of these, describing the char- 
acter of Washington, he says; "His integrity was most 
pure, his justice the most inflexible I have ever known ; 
no motives of interest or consanguinity, of friendship or 
hatred, being able to bias his decision. He was, indeed, 
in every sense of the words, a wise, a good, and a great 
man.^ These considerations seem to show at least, 
that, whatever may have been Mr. Jefferson's feelmgs, 
or the part he acted, in times of warm political strife, a 
cahn review of the past, at a later period, brought him to 
a just estimate of the character and conduct of Wash- 
ington. But, after all, it is not easy to be convinced, 
even by his own statements, that he is not in some 
degree chargeable with delinquency towards him during 
the latter years of his life. 

Being established again at Mount Vernon, and freed 
from public toils and cares, Washington returned to the 
same habits of life, and the same pursuits, which he 
had always practised at that place. It required neither 
time nor new incitements to revive a taste for occupa- 
tions, which had ever afforded him more real enjoyment 
than any others. Although he had been able to ex- 
ercise a partial supervision over his private affairs, yet 
he found, that, after an absence of eight years, much was 
to be done to repair his houses, restore his farms to the 
condition in which he had left them, and complete his 
favorite system of agriculture. To these employments 
he devoted himself with as hvely an interest, as if 
nothing had occurred to interrupt them. 

In writing to a friend, a few weeks after he arrived at 
Mount Vernon, he said that he began his daily course 
with the rising of the sun, and first made preparations 
for the business of the day. "By the time I have ac- 
complished these matters,'* he adds, " breakfast is ready. 



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iET.G5.] LIFE OF WASHINGTON. 528 

This being over, I mount my horse and ride round my 
farms, which employs me until it is time to dress for 
dinner, at which I rarely miss to see strange faces, come 
as they say out of respect to me. And how different 
is this from having a few social friends at a cheerful 
board. The usual time of sitting at table, a walk, and 
tea, bring me withm the dawn of candlelight ; previous 
to which, if not prevented by company, I resolve, that, 
as soon as the glimmering taper supplies the place of 
the great luminary, I will retire to my writing-table, and 
acknowledge the letters I have received. Having given 
you this history of a day, it will serve for a year.'* And 
in this manner a year passed away, and with no othar 
variety than that of the change of visiters, who came 
from all parts to pay their respects or gratify their 
curiosity. 

But, in the midst of these scenes, it once more be- 
came his duty to yield to the claim of his country. The 
French Directory had rejected the overtures for a re- 
conciliation, and committed outrages and insults against 
the United States, which no independent nation could 
bear. Mr. Pinckney, the American plenipotentiary, had 
been treated with indignity, first by a refusal to receive 
him as minister, and next by an order to leave the ter- 
ritories of the Republic. At the same time, depredations 
were made upon American commerce by French cruis- 
ers, in violation of the treaty which had subsisted be- 
twen the two nations. President Adams summoned 
Congress, submitted the subject to them, and recom- 
mended preparations for military defence. That no 
method might be left unattempted for bringing about a 
reconciliation and insuring peace, two envoys extraordi- 
nary, John Marshall and Elbridge Gerry, were sent out 
to join Mr. Pinckney. The three envoys proceeded to 
Paris, but their mission was unsuccessfuL 



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524 LIFE OP WASHINGTON. [1708. 

It seems that the rulers of France had been deceived 
into a belief, that the people of the United States would 
not sustain their government in a war against that coun- 
try. The opposition shown to the British treaty had con- 
tributed to foster this delusion ; and indeed the conduct 
of the French mmisters in the United States, from the 
time Genet arrived at Charieston, had deariy indicated 
a design to separate the people from the government 
Such was the confidence of the Executive Directory in 
this hope, and such their ignorance of the American 
character, that they had the effrontery to demand money 
of the envoys as a preliminary to any negotiation for 
settling the differences between the two nations. This 
demand was made under the pretence of a redress of 
grievances, m consequence, as it was alleged, of the un- 
favorable operation of the British treaty, and of the sys- 
tem of neutrality adopted by the American government 
So degrading a proposal could not of course be regarded 
in any other light than as an insult 

Nothing now remained to be done but to prepare for 
war. Congress authorized the President to enlist ten 
thousand men, as a provisional army, and to call them 
into actual service, if war should be declared against the 
United States, or whenever in his opinion there should 
be danger of an invasion. 

As soon as it was foreseen, that a resort to arms 
might be necessary, all eyes were turned upon Wash- 
ington as the individual to be placed at the head of the 
army. The weight of his name was of the utmost im- 
portance to produce unanimity in the leaders, and secure 
the confidence and support of the people. " You ought 
to be aware," said Hamilton, in writing to him, ** that, 
in the event of an open rupture with France, the public 
voice will again call you to command the armies of your 
countrj^ ; and, though all who are attached to you will 



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/Et 66.1 LIFE OF WASHINGTON. 525 

from attachment, as well as public considerations, de- 
plore an occasion, which should once more tear you from 
that repose to which you have so good a right, yet it 
is the opinion of all those with whom I converse, that 
you will be compelled to make the sacrifice. All your 
past labors may demand, to give them efficacy, this 
further, this very great sacrifice/' The President also 
wrote to him ; " We must have your name, if you will 
permit us to use it There will be more efficacy in it, 
than in many an army," This letter was written before 
any appointments had been made. The following is 
an extract from Washington's reply. 

** From a view of the past and the present, and from 
the prospect of that which seems to be expected, it 
is not easy for me to decide satisfactorily on the part 
it might best become me to act. In case of actual 
invasion by a formidable force, I certainly should not 
intrench myself under the cover of age and retire- 
ment, if my services should be required by my coun- 
try to assist in repelling it. And, if there be good 
cause, which must be better known to the government 
than to private citizens, to expect such an event, de- 
lay m preparing for it might be dangerous, improper, 
and not to be justified by prudence. The uncertainty, 
however, of the event, in my mind, creates my em- 
barrassment; for I cannot fairly bring it to believe, 
regardless as the French are of treaties and of the 
laws of nations, and capable as I conceive them to be 
of any species of despotism and injustice, that they 
will attempt to invade this country, after such a uni- 
form and unequivocal expression of the sense of the 
people in all parts to oppose them with their lives 
and fortunes." 

Before receivmg this reply, the President had nomi- 
nated him to the Senate as Commander-in-chief of the 



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626 LIFE OF WASHINGTON. [179a 

armies of the United States. The nomination was unani- 
mously confirmed on the 3d of July, the day after it was 
made. The Secretary of War was despatched m per- 
son to Mount Vernon, as the bearer of the commission. 
Washington accepted the appomtment, with two reser- 
vations ; first, that the principal officers should be such 
as he approved ; secondly, that he should not be called 
into the field, till the army was in a condition to require 
his presence, or till it became necessary by the urgency 
of circumstances. He added, however, that he did not 
mean to withhold any assistance he could afford in 
arranging and organizing the army ; and, in conformity 
with the rule he had always followed, he declined re- 
ceiving any part of the emoluments annexed to his 
appointment, until he should be in a situation to incur 
expense. 

There was much embarrassment in appointing the 
principal officers. Some of those, who had served in 
the revolution, were prominent candidates for s^point- 
ments in the new army. It became a question, whether 
their former rank should be taken into account If 
this were decided in the affirmative, it would deprive 
the army of the services of men, whose talents, activity, 
and influence were of the greatest moment, but who 
would not accept subordinate places. It was the o{Hn- 
ion of Washington, that, since the old army had long 
been disbanded, and a new one was now to be formed 
upon different principles and for a different object, no 
regard ought to be paid to former rank, but that the 
best men should be selected, and so arranged as most 
effectually to promote the public good. This opinion 
prevailed. 

The inspector-general was to be the second in 
command, and there were to be likewise two major- 
generals. For these offices Washington proposed Alex- 



1 



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Mt.€7.] life of WASHINGTON. 527 

ander Hamilton, Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, and Hen- 
ry Knox, who were to rank in the order in which their 
names here stand. They were thus appointed. The 
President was not satisfied with the arrangement. His 
choice for the inspector-general rested upon Knox, but 
he acquiesced in the decision of Washington. Unfor- 
tunately General Knox was displeased with the arrange- 
ment, and declined accepting his commission. He 
believed that his former services gave him higher claims, 
than could be advanced for the two younger officers 
who were placed over him. 

From this time to the end of his life a great part of 
Washington's attention was taken up with the affairs 
of the new army. His correspondence with the Secre- 
tary of War, the major-generals, and other officers, was 
unremitted and very full, entering into details and com- 
municating instructions, which derived value from his 
long experience and perfect knowledge of the sub- 
ject. His letters during this period, if not the most in- 
teresting to many readers, will ever be regarded as 
models of their kind, and as affording evidence that 
the vigor and fertility of his mind had not decreased 
with declining years. He passed a month at Philadel- 
phia, where he was assiduously employed with Gtenerals 
Hamilton and Pinckney in making' arrangements for 
raising and organizing the army. Afler the plan was 
finished, he applied himself, with all the ardor of his 
younger days, to effect its execution. 

He never seriously believed, that the French would go 
to the extremity of invading the United States. But it 
had always been a maxim with him, that a timely prep- 
aration for war afforded the surest means of preserving 
peace; and on this occasion he acted with as much 
promptitude and energy, as if the mvaders had been 
actually on the coast His opinion proved to be correct, 



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528 LIFE OP WASHINGTON. [1799. 

and his prediction was verified. When it was discov- 
ered, that a war with the United States would not be 
against the government alone, but that the whole people 
would rise to resist aggression and maintain their rights 
and dignity as a nation, the French rulers relaxed mto 
a more pacific temper. Intimations were given by them 
of a willingness to cooperate in efiecting a fiiendly 
and equitable adjustment of existing differences. Lis- 
tening to these overtures, the President agam appdnted 
three envoys extraordinary, and invested them with 
full powers to negotiate with the French government 
When they arrived in Paris, they found Bonaparte at 
the head of affairs, who, having taken no part in the 
preceding disputes, and perceiving no advantage in con- 
tinumg them, readily assented to an accommodation. 
No event was more desired by Washington, but he did 
not live to participate in the joy with which the intelli- 
gence was received by his countrymen. 

Since his retirement from the Presidency, his health 
had been remarkably good ; and, although age had not 
come without its infirmities, yet he was able to endure 
&tigue and make exertions of body and mind with 
scarcely less inconvenience, than he had done in the 
prime of his strength. On the 12th of December he 
spent several hours on horseback, riding to his farms, 
and giving directions to his managers. He returned 
late m the afternoon, wet and chilled with the rain and 
sleet, to which he had been exposed while riding home. 
The water had penetrated to his neck, and snow was 
lodged in the locks of his hair. A heavy fall of snow 
the next day prevented his going abroad, except for a 
short time near his house. A sore throat and hoarse- 
ness convinced him, that he had taken cold ; but he 
seemed to apprehend no danger from it. He passed 
the evening with the family, read the newspapers, and 
conversed cheerfully till his usual hour for going to rest. 



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^T.67.] LIFE OP WASHINGTON. 529 

In the night he had an ague, and before the dawn 
of day the next morning, which was Saturday, the 
14th, the soreness in his throat had become so severe, 
that he breathed and spoke with difficulty. At his re- 
quest he was bled by one of his overseers, and in the 
mean time a messenger went for Dr. Craik, who lived 
nine miles o£F, at Alexandria. As no relief was obtained 
by bleeding, and the symptoms were such as to alarm 
the family, another messenger was despatched for Dr. 
Brown, who resided nearer Mount Vernon. These 
physicians arrived in the morning, and Dr. Dick in the 
course of the day. All the remedies, which their united 
counsel could devise, were used without effect 

His suffering was acute and unabated through the 
day, but he bore it with perfect composure and resigna- 
tion. Towards evening he said to Dr. Craik ; " I die 
hard, but I am not afraid to die. I believed from my 
first attack, that I should not survive it My breath 
cannot last bng.'^ Frcwn that time he said little, except 
to thank the physicians for their kindness, and request 
they would give themselves no more trouble, but let him 
die quietly. Nothing farther was done, and he sank 
gradually till between ten and eleven o'clock at night, 
when he expired, in the sixty-eighth year of his age, 
and in the full possession of his mental faculties; ex- 
hibiting in this short and painful illness, and in his 
death, the same example of patience, fortitude, and sub- 
mission to the Divme will, which he had shown in all 
the acts oi' his life. On Wednesday, the 18th of De- 
cember, his remains were deposited in the family tomb 
at Mount Vernon.* 

Congress was at this time in session at Philadelphia ; 
and, when the news of the melancholy event arrived 

• A particular account of the last illness and death of Washington is 
contained in the Appendix, No. 11. 

VOL. I. 67 ss 



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630 LIFE OP WASHINGTON. [1799. 

at the seat of govemment, both houses unmediately 
adjourned for the remainder of the day. The next 
mommg, as soon as the House of Representatives 
had convened, Mr. Marshall, afterwards Chief Justice, 
rose in his place, and addressed the Speaker in an 
eloquent and pathetic speech, briefly recounting the 
public acts of Washington. " Let us, then,'' said he, at 
the conclusion, " pay the last tribute of respect and af- 
fection to our departed friend. Let the Grand Council 
of the nation display those sentiments, which the nation 
feels.'' He then offered three resolutions, previously 
prepared by General Henry Lee, which were accepted. 
By these it was proposed, that the house should in a 
body wait on the President to express their condolence ; 
that the Speaker's chair should be shrouded in black, 
and the members and oflScers of the house be dressed 
in black, during the session ; and that a committee, in 
conjunction with a committee from the Senate, should 
be appointed "to consider on the most suitable man- 
ner of paying honor to the memory of the man, first 
in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his 
fellow-citizens." 

The Senate testified their respect and sorrow by 
similar proceedings. A joint committee of the two 
houses was appointed, who reported resolutions recom- 
mending, that a marble monument should be erected 
to commemorate the great events in the military and 
political life of Washington; that an oration, suited to 
the occasion, should be pronounced in the presence of 
both houses of Congress ; that the people of the United 
States should wear crape on the left arm thirty days as 
a badge of mourning ; and that the President, m the 
name of Congress, should be requested to write a letter 
of condolence to Mrs. Washington. These resolutions 
were unanimously adopted. The funeral ceremonies 



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iET,67.] LIFE OF WASHINGTON. 531 

were appropriate and solemn. A procession, consisting 
of the members of the two houses, public officers, and a 
large assemblage of citizens, moved from the hall of 
Congress to the German Lutheran Church, where a dis- 
course was delivered by General Lee, then a represen- 
tative in Congress.* 

But no formal act of the national legislature was 
required to stir up the hearts of the people, or to remind 
them of the loss they had sustained in the death of a 
man, whom they had so long been accustomed to love 
and revere, and the remembrance of whose deeds and 
virtues was so closely connected with that of their for- 
mer perils, and of the causes of their present prosperity 
and happiness. The mourning was universal. It was 
manifested by every token, which could indicate the 
public sentiment and feeling. Orators, divines, journal- 
ists, and writers of every class, responded to the general 
voice in all parts of the country, and employed their 
talents to solemnize the event, and to honor the memory 
of him, who, more than any other man, of ancient or 
modem renown, may claim to be called The Father 

OF HIS CoUNTRY.t 

• See Appendix, No. III. 

t Bonaparte rendered unusual honors to the name of Washington, not 
long after the event of his death was made known in France. By 
what motives he was prompted, it is needless to inquire. At any rate, 
both the act itself and his manner of performing it are somewhat remark- 
able, when regarded in connexion with his subsequent career. He was 
then First Consul. On the 9th of February, he issued the following order 
of the day to the army. *^ Washington is dead ! This great man fought 
against tyranny ; he established the liberty of his country. His memory 
will always be dear to the French people, as it will be to all free men of 
the two worlds ; and especially to French soldiers, who, like him and the 
American soldiers, have combated for liberty and equality." The First 
Consul likewise ordered, that, during ten days, black crape should be 
suspended from all the standards and flags throughout the Republic. On 
the same day a splendid ceremony took place in the Champ de Mars, and 
the trophies brought by the army from Egypt were displayed with great 



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532 LIFE OF WASHINGTON. [1799. 

The person of Washington was commanding, grace- 
ful, and fidy proportioned ; his stature six feet, his chest 
broad and full, his limbs long and somewhat slender, 
but well shaped and muscular. His features were r^u- 
lar and symmetrical, his eyes of a light blue cdor, and 
his whole countenance, in its quiet state, was grave, 
placid, and benignant When alone, oc not engaged m 
conversation, he appeared sedate and thoughtful ; but, 
when his attention was excited, hb eye kindled quickly, 
and his fieice beamed with animation and mtelligmce. 
He was not fluent in speech, but what he said was 
apposite, and listened to with the more mterest as being 
known to come from the heart He seldom attempted 
sallies of wit or humor, but no man received more pleas- 
ure from an exhibition of them by others ; and, although 
contented m seclusion, he sought his chief happiness in 
society, and participated with delight in all its rational 
and mnocent amusements. Without austerity on the 
one hand, or an appearance of condescending familiarity 
on the other, he was affable, courteous, and cheerful ; 
but it has often been remarked, that there was a dignity 
in his person and manner, not easy to be defined, which 
impressed every one that saw him for the first time 

pomp. Immediately after this ceremony waa over, a i\meral oraticm, in 
honor of Washington (Eloge ^ii^6re de Wa$kingUm) waa pranounoed by 
M. de Fontanes, in the H^l des Invalides, then called the Teas^ of 
Mars. The First Conaul, and all the civil and military anthortttes of the 
capital, were present 

It may here be mentioned, that Washington was never a Marshal of 
France, as has often been repeated. 

Another tribute was paid to his memory, which is worthy of being 
recorded. About the time that the news of his death arrived in England, 
the British fleet, which had recently chased the French fleet into the har- 
bour of Brest, was lying at Torbay, and consisted of nearly sixty ships of 
the line. Lord Bridport, who had the command, on hearing the intelli- 
gence, lowered his flag half-mast His example was followed by the 
whole fleet This fkct was communicated to me by an American gentle- 
man, who was on board one of the ships at the time. 



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Mt.67.] life op WASHINGTON. 533 

with an instmctive deference and awe. This may have 
arisen in part from a conviction of his superiority, as 
well as fh)m the eflFect produced by his external form 
and deportment 

The character of his mind was unfolded in the public 
and private acts of his life ; and the proofs of his great- 
ness are seen aUnost as much in the one as the other. 
The same qualities, which raised him to the ascendency 
he possessed over the will of a nation as the com- 
mander of armies and chief magistrate, caused him to 
be loved and respected as an individual Wisdom, 
judgment, prudence, and firmness were his predombant 
traits. No man ever saw more clearly the relative im- 
portance of things and actions, or divested himself more 
entirely of the bias of personal interest, partiality, and 
prejudice, in discriminating between the true and the 
false, the right and the wrong, in all questions and 
subjects ^ that were presented to him. He deliberated 
slowly, but decided surely ; and, when his decisicm was 
cmce formed, he seldom reversed it, and never relaxed 
from the execution of a measure till it was completed. 
Courage, physical and moral, was a part of his nature ; 
and, whether m battle or in the midst of popular excite- 
ment, he was feariess of danger and regardless of con- 
sequences to hunself. 

His ambition was of that noble kind, which aims to 
excel in whatever it undertakes, and to acquire a power 
over the hearts of men by promoting their happiness and 
winning their affections. Sensitive to the approbation 
of others and solicitous to deserve it, he made no con- 
cessions to gsdn their applause, either by flattering their 
vanity or yielding to their caprices. Cautious without 
timidity, bold without rashness, cool in counsel, delib- 
erate but firm in action, clear in foresight, patient under 
reverses, steady, persevering, and self-possessed, he met 

ss* 



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634 LIFE OP WASHINGTON. [1799. 

and conquered every obstacle that obstructed his path 
to honor, renown, and success. More confident m the 
uprightness of his intentions, than m his resources, 
he sought knowledge and advice fh)m other men. He 
chose his counsellors with unerring sagacity; and his 
quick perception of the soundness of an opinion, and 
of the strong points in an argument, enabled him to 
draw to his aid the best fruits of their talents, and the 
light of their collected wisdom. 

Hb moral qualities were in perfect harmony with 
those of his intellect Duty was the ruUng principle 
of his conduct ; and the rare endowments of his under- 
standing were not more constantly tasked to devise 
the best methods of effecting an object, than they were 
to guard the sanctity of conscience. No instance can 
be adduced, in which he was actuated by a smister 
motive, or endeavoured to attain an end by unwor- 
thy means. Truth, mtegrity, and justice were deeply 
rooted m his mind; and nothmg could rouse his in- 
dignation so soon, or so utterly destroy his confidence, 
as the discovery of the want of these virtues in any 
one whom he had trusted. Weaknesses, follies, in- 
discretions, he could forgive; but subterfuge and dis- 
honesty he never forgot, rarely pardoned. He was 
candid and sincere, true to his fiiends and faithful to 
all, neither practising dissimulation, descending to ar- 
tifice, nor holding out expectations which he did not 
intend should be realized. His passions were strong, 
and sometimes they broke out with vehemence, but 
he had the power of checking them in an mstant 
Perhaps self-control was the most remarkable trait of 
his character. It was in part the efiect of discipline ; 
yet he seems by nature to have possessed this power 
in a degree, which has been denied to other men. 



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iET.67.] LIFE OP WASHINGTON. 535 

A Christian in faith and practice, he was habitual- 
ly devout His reverence for religion is seen in his 
example, his public communications, and his private 
writings. He uniformly ascribed his successes to the 
beneficent agency of the Supreme Being. Charitable 
and humane, he was liberal to the poor, and kind to 
those in distress. As a husband, son, and brother, he 
was tender and affectionate. Without vanity, ostenta- 
tion, or pride, he never spoke of himself or his actions, 
unless required by circumstances which concerned the 
public interests. As he was free from envy, so he had 
the good fortune to escape the envy of others, by stand- 
ing on an elevation which none could hope to attain. 
If he had one passion more strong than another, it 
was love of his country. The purity and ardor of his 
patriotism were commensurate with the greatness of its 
object. Love of country in him was invested with the 
sacred obligation of a duty ; and from the faithful dis- 
charge of this duty he never swerved for a moment, 
either in thought or deed, through the whole period 
of his eventful career. 

Such are some of the traits in the character of 
Washington, which have acquired for him the love and 
veneration of mankind. If they are not jnarked with 
the brilliancy, extravagance, and eccentricity, which in 
other men have excited the astonishment of the world, 
so neither are they tarnished by the follies nor dis- 
graced by the crimes of those men. It is the happy 
combination of rare talents and qualities, the harmo- 
nious union of the intellectual and moral powers, rather 
than the dazzling splendor of any one trait, which con- 
stitute the grandeur of his character. If the title of 
great man ought to be reserved for him, who cannot 
be charged with an indiscretion or a vice, who spent 
his life in establishing the independence, the glory, and 



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636 LIFE OF WASHINGTON. [17961 

durable prosperity of bis country, wbo succeeded in 
all tbat be undertook, and wbose successes were never 
won at tbe expense of bcmor, justice, integrity, or by 
tbe sacrifice of a single principle, tbis title will not be 
denied to Wasbmgton. 



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APPENDIX. 



VOL. I. 68 



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APPENDIX. 



No. I. 
ORIGIN AND GENEALOGY OF THE WASHINGTON FAMILY. 

There was a tradition in the branch of the Washington fam- 
ily to which General Washington belonged, that their ancestors 
emigrated to America from Yorkshire in the North of Eng- 
land. No facts had been collected, however, to confirm this tra- 
dition, nor did General Washington himself pretend to have any 
certain knowledge on the subject Soon after he became Presi- 
dent of the United States, Sir Isaac Heard, then Garter King of 
Arms in London, wrote to him, stating that from curiosity he had 
been at considerable pains to investigate this matter, and had 
made some progress, but that he was still in doubt as to several 
points, and he requested such particulars as could be furnished 
by the family in America. 

To gratify this request, as far as it was in his power, Washing- 
ton applied to several aged persons for their reminiscences, pro- 
cured copies and abstracts of wills, and collected such other ma- 
terials as could be found, from which he drew up a paper and 
forwarded it to the Garter King of Arms. This paper was the 
basis of an imperfect genealogical table, which was constructed 
and sent to Mount Vernon ; but an inflammation of the eyes, 
which seems to have afflicted Sir Isaac Heard for several years 
before his death, prevented his pursuing the inquiry ; and it does 
not appear, that Washington obtained any other facts than those 
contained in the paper above mentioned. Sir Isaac Heard ascer- 
tained, however, that the two brothers, who were the first of the 
family that came to America, were not from Yorkshire, but from 
Northamptonshire, and he traced their ancestors to Lancashire. 

While I was in England, searching for the materials which 
have been used to fill out and illustrate various parts of Wash- 



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640 WASHINGTON FAMILY. [Appendix. 

ington's writings, I embraced the opportunity to make further 
inquiries respecting the origin and history of the family. At the 
Herald's College I was politely allowed access to all the manu- 
scripts of Sir Isaac Heard on this subject ; and, with the aid of 
these and of the voluminous county histories in the public libra- 
ries, I was enabled to collect a few facts, which may be thought 
worthy of being preserved in connexion with the life of one, who 
has added so much lustre to the name. 

In the County of Durham is a parish called Washington, and 
the earliest period, in which any person is known, or supposed, 
to have been called by that name, was towards the close of the 
twelfth century. The following is Hutchinson's account of this 
parish. 

" The manor is mentioned in the Boldon Book,* wherein it is 
said William de Hertburn held the same, except the church 
and the lands thereto appertaining, in exchange for the vill of 
Hertburn, rendering four pounds, serving in the great chase with 
two greyhounds, and paying one mark to the palatine aid, when 
such happened to be raised. At the time of making Bishop Hat- 
field's survey,t the resident family had assumed a local name, and 
William de Wessyngton, knight, then held the manor and vill. 
On the inquisition taken at his death, in the twenty-second year 
of that prelate,! it appears that in his service he was to provide 
three greyhounds for the chase, and, if he took any game in his 
way to the forest, it should be for the Bishop's use, but what he 
got on his return was to be taken for his own benefit. In Bishop 
I^angley's^ time, we find Washington was become the estate of 
the Blackstons." || 

The same particulars are stated by Shurtees, who adds the 
following. 

" It seems probable, that either Wiiiiam fU Hertburn^ or his 
immediate descendants, assumed the local name ; for WiUiam de 
Wessyngton occurs as a witness in charters of Bishops Robert de 
Stitchell,fl and de Insula.** William de Wessyngton, chevalier, 

'< * So called from the parish of Boldon (near Washington), where it was 
written in 1180, it being a record of survey." 

<< t About A. D. 1345, when Hatfield was made Bishop." 

« X About 1367." 

" § Langley was made Bishop in 1406, and died in 1437." 

II Hutchinson's History of Durham, Vol. II. p. 489. 

IT Robert de SUchell was made Bishop of Durham in 1261, and died in 
1274. — Hutchinson's History of Durham, Vol. II. p. 214. 

** Robert de Insula, made Bishop in 1274, died 12dQ. — Ihid, p. 223. 



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Appendix.] WASHINGTON FAMILY. 541 

had license to settle the manor on himself, his wife Katherine, 
and his own right heirs, in 1350, and died in 1367, seized of 
the whole manor and v ill, by the abovementioned free rent of 
four pounds, leaving William his son and heir, who held by the 
same tenure under Hatfield's survey. Before 1400 the direct line 
expired in another William, whose only daughter, Dionisia, mar* 
ried Sir William Tempest of Studley." • 

From these authorities it appears, that Hertbum waa the original 
name of the Washington family, that the latter name probably was 
assumed by William de Hertburn between the years 1261 and 1274, 
and that the manor was held in the male line till about the year 
1400, or one hundred and thirty years. During this period the 
name seems to have been usually written WessyngioUy though it is 
sometimes found Wessington. In its subsequent changes it was 
probably written variously at different times, and by different 
branches of the family. At the Herald's College, in the ** Visi- 
tation Book " (so called) of Northamptonshire for the year 1618, 
I found the autographs of AJban Wasshington and Robert Was^ 
shingtm. These persons were uncles to John and Lawrence 
Washington, who emigrated to Virginia. 

Notwithstanding that the manor was no longer held by a person 
of the same name, yet the family extended itself; and one of the 
number, called John dz Wessyngton^ attained to considerable emi- 
nence as a scholar and divine, being elected Prior of Durham on 
the 5th of November, 1416. 

" This learned Prior," says Hutchinson, " wrote many tracts^ 
particularly one, De Jurihus et Possessionibus EccJesice Dunelm,^ 
wherein he proves, that the Priors of Durham were always invested 
with the dignity of Abbots. There are some of his manuscripts 
in the Dean and Chapter's library. The account of the paintings 
in the windows, and of the ornaments and ceremonies of the 
church, now extant, is by some attributed to him. He renewed 
the dispute with the Bishop touching the profession of the monks, 
which was determined in the Prior's favor, and presided at the 
general chapter held for the order of St. Benedict, at Northamp- 
ton, in the ye^r 1426. In his time several licenses were obtained 
for acquiring lands for the monastery. Prior Wessyngton presided 
thirty years, and departed this life in the year 1446. He was 
buried before the door of the north aisle, near to St. Benedict's 
altar. On his tombstone was an inscription in brass, now totally 
lost"t 

• Shurtees's History of Durhanif Vol. II. p. 40. 
t Hutchinson's History of Durham, Vol. II. p. 96. 
VOL. I. TT 



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542 WASHINGTON FAMILY. [Appendix. 

Concerning the times in which the several branches of the 
family separated from the original stock, and tlie directions in 
which they spread, very little is known. During the century fol- 
lowing Prior Wessyngton's death, we can trace them in North- 
umberland, Yorkshire, Lancashire, Warwickshire, Northampton- 
shire, and perhaps in other parts of England. If we may judge 
from the records of the transfers of estates and monumental in- 
scriptions contained in the county histories, many, who bore the 
name, were persons of wealth and consideration. Their armorial 
bearings were varied, but whether to distinguish different branches 
of the family, or for other reasons, neither my knowledge of their 
history, nor my skill in heraldry, enables me to decide.* 

The prior of Durham was not the only man of learning among 
them. Joseph Washington, an eminent lawyer of Gray's Inn, 
Thoresby says, *< is to be remembered among the authors." He 
wrote the first volume of "Modern Reports " ; " Observations upon 
the Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction of the Kings of England,'' published 
in 1689;" Abridgment of the Statutes to 1687" ; a translation of 
part of " Lucian's Dialogues " ; and other tracts.t He was buried 

" The following extract from Edmondson*! Heraldry will ihow some of the 
varietiet, at adopted by the Washingtons in aeveral counties. 

Washington Arms. 

** 1. Gales on a (em argent, three mullets pierced of the fiek). 

" 2. In Buckinghamshire, Kent, Warwickshire, and Northamptonshire; ar- 
gent, two bars gules in chief, three mullets of the second. Crest, a raven 
with wings indorsed proper, issuing out of a ducal coronet or. 

" 3. Gules, two bars in chief, three martlets of the second. 

"4. In Lancashire ; harry of four argent and gules on a chief of the 
second, three mullets of the first. 

*^ 5. In Yorkshire ; vert, a lion rampant argent, within a bordore gobonated 
argent and azure." 

The second variety here described was the one used by General Wash- 
ington, being probably the original arms of the family. 

t Thoresby's History of Leeds, p. 97. Toland sayvfthat he was the trans- 
lator of Milton's Defensiopro Populo JSngUeano, in reply to Salmasius. Lift 
of MUtoHf p. 84. The translator's name is not prefixed to the first edition ; 
but the publisher states in an advertisement, " that the person, who took the 
pains to translate it, did it partly for his own private entertainment, and 
partly to gratify one or two of his friends, without any design of making it 
public, and is since deceased." This edition was printed in the year 1692, 
and it is probable, that Joseph Washington had died not long before that 
time. The translation is the same that is usually printed with Milton's prose 
writings. The interest he took in this performance indicates the tenor of 
his political sentiments, as well as the fkci mentioned by Hunter, that he 
was an intimate friend of the celebrated Lord Somers. 



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Appendix.] WASHINGTON FAMILY. 543 

in the Benchers' Vault of the Inner Temple. He was of the Adwick 
family, son of Robert Washington, a wealthy merchant, who lived 
and died at Anstrope Hall, near Leeds. 

Anthony Wood says, in his " History of the University of Oxford," 
that it was allowed by the venerable association, that several 
persons *' might have liberty when they pleased to be created doc- 
tors of divinity ; but they refused then and the next year to accept 
that favor.'' Among the persons, who declined this honor, was 
Richard Washington of University College.* And Mr. Hunter 
cites Wood, as giving an account of a remarkable collection of 
arms and pictures in the apartments of Philip Washington, of the 
same college, who died in 1635. f 

In the history of the civil wars, another of the family, named 
Henry Washington, is renowned for the resolute and spirited man- 
ner, in which he defended the city of Worcester against the forces 
of the Parliament in 1646. 

** Lord Astley, who had succeeded Colonel Sandys as Governor 
of Worcester, being taken prisoner and confined at Warwick, Sir 
Henry Washington was made Governor and Colonel in his absence. 
In the Herald's College it appears, that the last entry of this gen- 
tleman's family was made there in the year 1618, at which time 
the name of Henry Washington, son and heir of William Wash- 
ington of Packington, in the county of Leicester, occurs ; who, 
on the following grounds, is conjectured to have been afterwards 
the Governor of Worcester. First, the name of Henry does not 
occur at all in any other pedigree of Washington. Secondly, his 
mother was half-sister to the famous George Villiers, Duke of 
Buckingham, which accounts for his great attachment to the King. 
An uncle of this Henry Washington, mentioned in the entry of 
the College of Arms above cited, is supposed to have been the 
ancestor of the renowned General George Washington." f 

In the Appendix to the second volume of Nash's History 
of Worcestershire, there is a highly interesting narrative of the 
siege of Worcester, drawn from the diary of a gentleman, who 
was in the city during the whole siege. The conduct of the 
Governor appears throughout to the greatest advantage. His spirit 
and firmness will be evident from his first letter to General Fairfax, 
who demanded a surrender on the 16th of May, eleven days afler 
the King had escaped in disguise from Oxford. 

* FaaU Oxojuenses, p. 57. 

i Hunter's History and Topography of tht Deanery qf Doncasiery Vol. I. 
p. 353. 
t Greene's History of Worcesterskirey Vol. H. Append, p. 154. 



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844 WASHINGTON FAMILY. [AppEicDir. 

" It 18 acknowledged by your books, and by report out of your 
own quarters," said Governor Washington, in reply to Fairfax, 
** that the King is in some of your armies. That granted, it may 
be easy for you to procure his Majesty's commands for the disposal 
of this garrison. Till then, I shall make good the trust reposed in 
me. As for conditions, if I shall be necessitated, I shall make 
the best I can. The worst I know, and fear not; if I had, the 
profession of a soldier had not been begun, nor so long continued, 
by your Excellency's humble senrant" 

The King's fortunes were now desperate; but the siege was 
maintained, even against all hope, for nearly three months, when 
honorable conditions were granted. 

That this Sir Henry Washington was the same person, whose 
name is conjectured above to be entered in the last Vtsi^o- 
iiam Book in the Herald's College, the circumstantial evidence 
is strong. In Baker's pedigree of this branch of the family, 
Henry Washington is stated to have been eight years old in 1618. 
But in the original book at the College I found the entry to be 
three years. The error was probably occasioned by a misprint of 
a figure. According to the original entry, therefore, he would have 
been thirty-one years old at the siege of Worcester, in 1646. He 
was nephew to John and Lawrence Washington, who emigrated 
to America about eleven years afler the siege of Worcester, and 
of course first cousin to General George Washington's grandfather.* 

The ancestors of General Washington in a direct line are traced 
to Whitfield and Warton/in the County of Lancaster. Whitaker, 
in his History of Northamptonshire, says of the parish church at 
Warton ; " The tower appears to be contemporary with the resto- 
ration of the church, and on the north side of the door are the 
arms of Washington, an old family of considerable property within 
the parish ; whence it may be inferred, that one of the name either 
built the steeple at his own expense, or was at least a considerable 
benefactor to the work." Baker gives a pedigree of the family in 
Lancaster County for three generations. At what time the migra- 

* This Henry Washington ia doubtless the same mentioned by Claiendon, 
as haying distinguished himself at the taking of Bristol, in 1643, three 
years before the siege of Worcester. " Though the division,** says Claren- 
don, " led on by Lord Grandison was beaten off, Lord Grandison himself 
being hurt; and the other, led on by Colonel Bellasis, likevnse had no better 
fortune; yet Colonel Washington, with a less party, finding a place in the 
curtain, between the places assailed by the other two, weaker than the rest* 
entered, and quickly made room for the horse to follow." — History of the 
RebeUhn, Book Vlf. 



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Appendix.] WASHINGTON FAMILY. 545 

tion of some of the members to the south took place is uncertain. 
The earliest notice we have on the subject is in 1532, when Law- 
rence Washington, son of John Washington of Warton, was mayor 
of Northampton. His mother was a daughter of Robert Kifson 
of Warton, and sister to Sir Thomas Ki|son, alderman of London. 
From this date the genealogy is unbroken. Upon the surrender 
of the monasteries in 1538, the manor of Sulgrave near North- 
ampton, which belonged to the Priory of St. Andrew, was given 
up to the crown ; and the next year this manor, and other lands 
in the vicinity, were granted to Lawrence Washington. Among the 
manuscripts of Sir Isaac Heard I found a letter to him from Mr. 
Wykam, dated at Sulgrave, August 15th, 1793, from which the 
following extract is taken. 

" There is in our parish church on a stone slab a brass plate, 
with this inscription in the old black character. ' Here lyeth 
buried the hodys of Lawrence Wasshington, Gent, and Anne his 
'f^yff ^y whome he had isstte four sons and seven daughters ; which 
Lawrence dyed ye day of An. 15 — ; and Anne deceased 
6M day of October, An, Dm. 1564.' On the same stone is also 
a shield much defaced, and effigies in brass of the four sons and 
seven daughters. Over the four sons is a figure larger than the 
rest, which is supposed to be the father's efligy. There was for- 
merly one over the seven daughters ; but this is gone. The arms 
of the Wasshington family (so spelled on six of the seven) were 
copied from some painted glass of the old manor-house in this 
vUlage." 

The death of this Lawrence Washington, according to Baker, 
occurred on the I9th of February, 1584. The manor of Sulgrave 
descended to his eldest son, Robert It was long held in the 
family, and thence derived the name of Washington's Manor. 
The first Lawrence Washington of Sulgrave had eleven children, 
four sons and seven daughters. His eldest son Robert was twice 
married, and had sixteen children, ten sons and six daughters. 
Lawrence, the eldest son of Robert Washington, had fourteen 
children, seven sons and seven daughters. The eldest son was 
Sir William Washington of Packington, who married the half-sister 
of George Yilliers, Duke of Buckingham, as stated above, and was 
the father (as is supposed) of Sir Henry Washington, the defender 
of Worcester. The second and fourth of these sons were John 
and Lawrence Washington, who emigrated to Virginia about the 
year 1657. They were great-grandsons of the first Lawrence of 
Sulgrave ; and John was the great-grandfather of General Wash- 
VOL. I. 69 XT* 



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546 WASHINGTON FAMILY. [AppEifDir. 

ington. These particulars maj be seen more at large in Baker's 
pedigree of the family inserted hereafter. 

The second son of the first Lawrence Washington of SulgraTe 
was Sir Lawrence Washington of Garsdon, County of Wilts. His 
granddaughter, Elizabeth Washington, who appears to have been 
an only child and heiress, married Robert Shirley, Baron Ferrers 
of Chartley, afterwards Earl Ferrers and Viscount Tam worth. 
She died in 1693. The family names were united, and Wash- 
ington Shirley, a son of Robert, was the second Earl Ferrers. 
Some of the other Earls since that time ha?e borne the same 
name. 

The history of the American branch of the family, as far as it 
is known, is contained in President Washington's letter to Sir 
Isaac Heard, in reply to his inquiries on the subject 

George Washington to Sir Isaac Heard. 

" PhiladelphU, 2 May, 1799. 
" Sir, 

" Your letter of the 7th of December was put into my hands 
by Mr, Thornton, and I must request that you will accept my 
acknowledgments, as well for the polite manner in which you 
express your wishes for my happiness, as for the trouble you have 
taken in making genealogical collections relative to the family of 
Washington. 

'' This is a subject to which I confess I have paid very little 
attention. My time has been so much occupied in the busy and 
active scenes of life from an early period of it, that but a small 
portion could have been devoted to researches of this nature, even 
if my inclination or particular circumstances should have prompt- 
ed to the inquiry. I am therefore apprehensive, that it will not 
be in my power, circumstanced as I am at present, to furnish you 
with materials to fill up the sketch which you have sent me, in so 
accurate a manner as you could wish. We have no office of 
record in this country, in which exact genealogical documents are 
preserved ; and very few cases, I believe, occur, where a recurrence 
to pedigrees for any considerable distance back has been found 
necessary to establish such points, as may frequently arise in older 
countries. 

'' On comparing the tables, which you sent, with such docu- 
ments as are in my possession, and which I could readily obtain 
from another branch of the family with whom I am in the habit 



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Appendix.] WASHINGTON FAMILY. 547 

of correspondence, I find it to be just. I have often heard others 
of the family, older than myself, say, that our ancestor, who first 
settled in this country, came from some one of the northern coun- 
ties of England ; but whether from Lancashire, Yorkshire, or one 
still more northerly, I do not precisely remember. 

" The arms enclosed in your letter are the same, that are held 
by the family here ; though I have also seen, and have used, as 
you may perceive by the seal to this packet, a flying griffin for the 
crest. 

** If you can derive any information firom the enclosed lineage, 
which will enable you to complete your table, I shall be well 
pleased in having been the means of assisting you in those re- 
searches, which you have had the politeness to undertake, and 
shall be glad to be informed of the result, and of the ancient ped- 
igree of the family, some of whom I find intermixed with that of 
Ferrers. 

" Lawrence Washington, from whose Will you enclosed an 
abstract, was my grandfather. The other abstracts, which you 
sent, do not, I believe, relate to the family of Washington in 
Virginia ; but of this I cannot speak positively. 

" With due consideration, I am. Sir, your most obedient servant, 

" George Washington." 

Particulars respecting the Washington Family, enclosed 
IN THE above Letter. 

** In the year 1657, or thereabouts, and during the usurpation 
of Oliver Cromwell, John and Lawrence Washington, brothers, 
emigrated from the North of England,* and settled at Bridge's 
Creek, on the Potomac River, in the County of Westmoreland. 
But from whom they descended, the subscriber is possessed of no 
document to ascertain. 



** John Washington was employed as general against the Indi- 
ans in Maryland, and, as a reward for his services, was made a 
colonel; and the parish wherein he lived was called after him. 
He married Anne Pope, and left issue two sons, Lawrence and 
John, and one daughter, Anne, who married Major Francb Wright 

* This tradition probably arose from the circumstance, that John Washing 
ton owned an estate at Soath Cave, in the* East Riding of the Coonty of 
York, where he resided before he came to America. 



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548 WASHINGTON FAMILY. [Appk^dix. 

The time of his death the subscriber is not able to ascertain ; bot 
it appears that he was interred in a vault, which had been erected 
at Bridge's Creek. 



" Lawrence Washington, his eldest ^n, married Mildred Warner, 
daughter of Colonel Augustine Warner, of Gloucester County, by 
whom he had two sons, John and Augustine, and one daughter, 
named Mildred. He died in 1697, and was interred in the family 
vault at Bridge's Creek. 

** John Washington, the eldest son of Lawrence and Mildred, 
married Catharine Whiting, of Gloucester County, where he settled, 
died, and was buried. He had two sons, Warner and Henry ; and 
three daughters, Mildred, Elizabeth, and Catharine, all of whom 
are dead. 

" Warner Washington married first Elizabeth Macon, daughter 
of Colonel William Macon of New Kent County, by whom he had 
one son, who is now living, and bears the name of Warner. His 
second wife was Hannah, youngest daughter of the Honorable 
William Fairfax, by whom he lefl two sons^ and five daughters, as 
follows ; namely, Mildred, Hannah, Catharine, Elizabeth, Louisa, 
Fairfax, and Whiting. The three oldest of the daughters are mar- 
ried ; Mildred to Throckmorton, Hannah to Whit- 
ing, and Catharine to Nelson. Afler his second marriage, 

he removed from Gloucester and settled in Frederic County, where 
he died in 179L 

** Warner Washington, his son, married ■ ■ Whiting of 

Gloucester, by whom he has many sons and daughters ; the eldest 
is called Warner, and is now nearly, if not quite, of age. 

" Henry, the other son of John and Catharine Washington, 
married the daughter of Colonel Thacker, of Middlesex County, 
and died many years ago, leaving one son, Thacker, and two or 
three daughters. 

" Thacker Washington married the daughter of Sir John Pey- 
ton, of Gloucester County, and lives on the family estate, lefl to 
his grandfather John, at Machodac, in the County of Westmore- 
land. He has several children. 

" Mildred, daughter of John and Catharine, of Gloucester, was 
twice married, but never had a child. Elizabeth never was mar- 
ried. Catharine married Fielding Lewis, by whom she had a son 
and daughter. John, the eldest, is now living. Frances died 
without issue. 



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Appendix.] WASHINGTON FAMILY. 549 

'' Augustine, sod of Lawrence and Mildred Washington, mar- 
ried Jane Butler, the daughter of Caleb Butler of Westmoreland, 
April 20th, 1715, by whom he had three sons, Butler (who died 
young), Lawrence, and Augustine, and one daughter, Jane, who 
died when a child. Jane, wife of Augustine, died November 24th, 
1728, and was buried in the family vault at Bridge's Creek. 

** Augustine then married Mary Ball, March 6th, 1730, by whom 
he had issue George [the writer], born February 11th (old style) 
1732 ; Betty, born Juue 20th, 1733 ; Samuel, born November 
16th, 1734, John Augustine, born January 13th, 1735 ; Charles, 
May 1st, 1738; and Mildred, June 21st, 1739, who died October 
28th, 1740. Augustine departed this life, April 12th, 1743, aged 
49 years, and was interred at Bridge's Creek, in the vault of his 
ancestors. 

*< Lawrence, son of Augustine and Jane Washington, married 
July 1 9th, 1743, Anne, eldest daughter of the Honorable William 
Fairfax, of Fairfax county, by whom he had issue Jane, bom Sep- 
tember 27th, 1744, who died in January, 1745 ; Fairfax, bom August 
22d, 1747, who died in October, 1747 ; Mildred, born September 
28th, 1748, who died in 1749; Sarah, born November 7th, 1750, 
who died in 175-. In 1752, Lawrence himself died, aged about 
34, and was interred in a vault, which he had caused to be erected 
at Mount Vemon, in Fairfax County, where he settled, after he 
returned from the Carthagena expedition. 

*' Augustine, son of Augustine and Jane Washington, married 
Anne, daughter and co-heiress of William Aylett, of Westmoreland 
County, by whom he had many children, all of whom died in their 
nonage and single, except Elizabeth, who married Alexander Spots- 
wood, of Spotsylvania County, grandson of General Spotswood, 
Grovernor of Virginia, by whom she has a number of children ; 
Anne, who married Burdet Ashton, of Westmoreland, by whom 
she had one or two children, and died young ; and William, who 
married his cousin Jane, daughter of John Augustine Washington, 
by whom he has four children. Augustine lived at the ancient 
mansion seat, in Westmoreland County, where he died, and was 
interred in the family vault. 

'* George, eldest son of Augustine Washington, by the second 
marriage, was bom in Westmoreland County, and married, January 
6th, 1759, Martha Custis, widow of Daniel Parke Custis, and 
daughter of John Dandridge, both of New Kent County ; has no 
issue. 

** Betty, daughter of Augustine and Mary Washington, became 



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550 WASHINGTON FAMILY. [Appehdjx. 

the second wife of Fielding Lewis, by whom she had a number of 
children, many of whom died young ; but five sons and a daughter 
are yet living. 

" Samuel, son of Augustine and Mary, was five times married. 
L To Jane, daughter of Colonel John Charope. 2. To Mildred, 
daughter of Colonel John Thornton. 3. To Lucy, daughter of 
Nathaniel Chapman. 4. To Anne, daughter of Colonel William 
Steptoe, and widow of Willoughby AUeton. 5. To a Widow Perrin. 
Samuel, by his second wife, Mildred, had issue one son, Thornton, 
who was twice married, and left three sons. He died in or about 
the year . By his fourth wife, Anne, he had three sons, Fer- 
dinand, George Steptoe, and Lawrence Augustine, and a daughter 
Harriot Ferdinand was married, but died soon after, leaving no 
issue. The other two sons and daughter are living and single. 
Samuel had children by his other wives, but they all died in their 
infancy. He departed this life himself, in the year 1781, at Hare- 
wood, in the County of Berkeley, where he was buried. 

'' John Augustine, son of Augustine and Mary, married Hannah 
Bushrod, daughter of Colonel John Bushrod, of Westmoreland 
County, by whom he has left two sons, Bushrod and Corbin, and 
two daughters, Jane and Mildred. He had several other children, 
but they died young. Jane, his eldest child, married (as has been 
before observed) William Washington, son of Augustine and Anne 
Washington, and died in 1791, leaving four, children. 

** Bushrod married, in 1785, Anne Blackburn, daughter of Colo- 
nel Thomas Blackburn, of Prince William County, but has no 
issue. Corbin married a daughter of the Honorable Richard 
Henry Lee, by whom he has three sons. Mildred married Thomas 
Lee, son of the said Richard Henry Lee. John Augustine died 
in February, 1787, at his estate on Nomony, in Westmoreland 
County, and was there buried. 

'' Charles Washington, son of Augustine and Mary, married 
Mildred Thornton, daughter of Colonel Francis Thornton, of Spot- 
sylvania County, by whom he has four children, George Augustine, 
Frances, Mildred, and Samuel. George Augustine married Fran- 
ces Bassett, daughter of Colonel Burwell Bassett, of New Kent, bj 
whom he has had four children ; three of whom are living, namely, 
Anna Maria, George Fayette, and Charles Augustine. Frances 
married Colonel Burges^ Ball, by whom she has had several 
children. Mildred and Samuel are unmarried. 



'< Mildred Washington, daughter of Lawrence and Mildred, and 
sister to John and Augustine Washington, married Gregory, 



(^^1 



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Appendix.] WASHINGTON FAMILY. 551 

by whom she had three daughters, Frances, Mildred, and Eliza- 
beth, who married three brothers. Colonel Francis Thornton, Colo- 
nel John Thornton, and Reuben Thornton, all of Spotsylvania 
County. She had for her second husband Colonel Henry Willis, 
and, by him, the present Colonel Lewis Willis of Fredericksburg. 



'* The above is the best account the subscriber is able at present 
to give, absent as he is, and at so great a distance, from Virginia, 
and under circumstances too, which allow no time for inquiry of 
the family of Washington, from which he is lineally descended. 

" The descendants of the first named Lawrence, and the second 
John, are also numerous ; but, for the reasons before mentioned, 
and from not having the same knowledge of them, and being more- 
over more remote from their places of residence, and, in truth, not 
having inquired much into the names or connexion of the lateral 
branches of the family, I am unable to give a satisfactory account 
of them. But if it be in any degree necessary or satisfactory to 
Sir Isaac Heard, Garter Principal King of Arms, I will, upon inti- 
mation thereof, set on foot an inquiry, and will at the same time 
endeavour to be more particular with respect to the births, names, 
ages, and burials of those of the branch to which the subscriber 
belongs. 

" George Washington." 

After Sir Isaac Heard received this letter he constructed from 
it a table, which he forwarded to President Washington, requesting 
him to supply other dates and descriptions. But there is no evi- 
dence of any additional facts having been obtained. It was the 
chief object of Sir Isaac Heard, however, to ascertain whether John 
and Lawrence Washington, who emigrated to Virginia, were of 
the Sulgrave family, and brothers to Sir William Washington of 
Packington. This was his impression, but he was not fully satis- 
fied with the proof. It has since been confirmed by Baker, in 
his History of Northamptonshire. 

I shall here subjoin Baker's genealogical table of the family 
before the emigration of the two brothers, and Sir Isaac Heard's 
table of the American branch in continuation. To these will be 
added the genealogy of the Washington family of Adwick, taken 
from Hunter's History of Doncaster. It is not known what de- 
degree of affinity there was between the heads of the two families, 
but it is probable that there are many descendants from both in 
America. 



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Appendix.] DEATH OP WASHINGTON. 555 

No. II. p. 529. 
LAST ILLNESS AND DEATH OF WASHINGTON.' 

Mount Vernon, Saturday, December lith, 1799. — This day 
being marked by an event, which will be memorable in the his- 
tory of America, and perhaps of the world, I shall give a particular 
statement of it, to which I was an eyewitness. 

On Thursday, December 12th, the General rode out to his farms 
about ten o'clock, and did not return home till past three. Soon 
ader he went out, the weather became very bad, rain, hail, snow 
falling alternately, with a cold wind. When he came in, I carried 
some letters to him to frank, intending to send them to the post- 
office in the evening. He franked the letters, but said the weather 
was too bad to send a servant to the office that evening. I ob- 
served to him, that I was afraid he had got wet. He said, No, his 
great-coat had kept him dry. But his neck appeared to be wet, 
and the snow was hanging upon his hair. He came to dinner 
(which had been waiting for him) without changing his dress. In 
the evening he appeared as well as usual. 

A heavy fall of snow took place on Friday, which prevented the 
General from riding out as usual. He had taken cold, undoubt^ 
edly from being so much exposed the day before, and complained 
of a sore throat. He, however, went out in the afternoon into the 
ground between the house and the river to mark some trees, which 
were to be cut down in the improvement of that spot. He had a 
hoarseness, which increased in the evening ; but he made light of it. 

In the evening the papers were brought from the post-office, 
and he sat in the parlour with Mrs. Washington and myself read- 
ing them, till about nine o'clock, when Mrs. Washington went up 
into Mrs. Lewis's room, who was confined, and lefl the General 
and myself reading the papers. He was very cheerful, and when 
he met with any thing interesting or entertaining, he read it aloud 
as well as his hoarseness would permit. He requested me to read 
to him the Debates of the Virginia Assembly, on the election of a 

* Mr. Tobias Lear, a gentleman of education and talents, resided several 
years with Washington, first as his secretary, and afterwards as superintend- 
ent of his private affairs. He was present during Washington's last illness, 
and wrote down a narrative of the occurrences immediately afler his death. 
The narrative is here printed as transcribed from Mr. Lear's original manu- 
script 



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556 DEATH OP WASHINGTON. [Appkwdix. 

Senator and Governor ; and, on bearing Mr. Madison's observations 
respecting Mr. Monroe, be appeared much affected, and spoke 
with some degree of asperity on the subject, which I endeavoured 
to moderate, as I always did on such occasions. On his retiring, 
I observed to him, that he had better take something to remove 
his cold. He answered, " No; you know I never take any thing 
for a cold. Let it go as it came.'' 

Between two and three o'ck>ck, on Saturday morning, he awoke 
Mrs. Washington, and told her that be was very unwell, and had had 
an ague. She observed, that he could scarcely speak, and breath- 
ed with difficulty, and would have got up to call a servant But he 
would not permit her, lest she should take a cold. As soon as the 
day appeared, the woman (Caroline) went into the room to make 
a fire, and Mrs. Washington sent her immediately to call me. I 
got up, put on my clothes as quickly as possible, and went to his 
chamber. Mrs. Washington was then up, and related to me his 
being ill as before stated. I found the General breathing with 
difficulty, and hardly able to utter a word intelligibly. He desired 
Mr. Rawlins (one of the overseers) might be sent for to bleed him 
before the doctor could arrive. I despatched a servant instantly 
for Rawlins, and another for Dr. Craik, and returned again to the 
General's chamber, where I found him in the same situation as 
I had left him. 

A mixture of molasses, vinegar, and butter was prepared to try 
its effects in the throat ; but he could not swallow a drop. When- 
ever he attempted it, he appeared to be distressed, convulsed, and 
almost suffocated. Rawlins came in soon after sunrise, and pre- 
pared to bleed him. When the arm was ready, the General, observ- 
ing that Rawlins appeared to be agitated, said, as well as he could 
speak, '' Don't be afraid." And when the incision was made, he 
observed, ** The orifice is not large enough." However, the blood 
ran pretty freely. Mrs. Washington, not knowing whether bleed- 
ing was proper or not in the General's situation, begged that much 
might not be taken from him, lest it should be injurious, and desired 
me to stop it ; but, when I was about to untie the string, the Gen- 
eral put lip his hand to prevent it, and, as soon as he could speak, 
he said, " More, more." Mrs. Washington being still very uneasy, 
lest too much blood should be taken, it was stopped after taking 
about half a pint. Finding that no relief was obtained from bleed- 
ing, and that nothing would go down the throat, I proposed bathing 
it externally with sal volatile, which was done, and in the opera- 
tion, which was with the hand, and in the gentlest manner, he 



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AppEWDix.] DEATH OP WASHINGTON. 557 

obserTed, " It is very sore." A piece of flannel dipped in sal 
volatile waB put around his neck, and his feet bathed in warm 
water, but without affording any relief. 

In the mean time, before Dr. Craik arrived, Mrs. Washington 
desired me to send for Dr. Brown of Port Tobacco, whom Dr. 
Craik had recommended to be called, if any case should ever 
occur, that was seriously alarming. I despatched a messenger im- 
mediately for Dr. Brown between eight and nine o'clock. Dr. Craik 
came in soon after, and, upon examining the General, he put a blister 
of cantharides on the throat, took some more blood from him, and 
had a gargle of vinegar and sage tea prepared ; and ordered some 
vinegar and hot water £>r him to inhale the steam of it, which he 
did ; but in attempting to use the gargle he was almost suffocated. 
When the gargle came from the throat, some phlegm foUowed, and 
he attempted to cough, which the doctor encouraged him to do as 
much as possible; bat he could only attempt it About eleven 
o'clock, Dr. Craik requested that Dr. Dick might be sent for, as 
he feared Dr. Brown would not come in time. A messenger was 
accordingly despatched for him. About this time the General was 
bled again. No effect, however, was produced by it, and he re- 
mained in the same state, unable to swallow any thing. 

Dr. Dick came about three o'clock, and Dr. Brown arrived soon 
after. Upon Dr. Dick's seeing the General, and consulting a few 
minutes with Dr. Craik, he was bled again. The blood came 
very slow, was thick, and did not produce any symptoms of faint- 
ing. Dr. Brown came into the chamber soon after, and upon 
feeling the Greneral's pulse, the physicians went out together. Dr. 
Craik returned soon after. The General could now swallow a 
little. Calomel and tartar emetic were administered, but without 
any effect. 

About half past four o'clock he desired me to call Mrs. Wash- 
ington to his bedside, when he requested her to go down into his 
room, and take from his desk two wills, which she would find 
there, and bring them to him, which she did. Upon looking at 
them he gave her one, which he observed was useless, as being 
superseded by the other, and desired her to bum it, which she 
did, and took the other and put it into her closet. 

After this was done, I returned to his bedside and took his 
hand. He said to me ; '^ I find I am going. My breath cannot 
last long. I believed from the first, that the disorder would prove 
fatal. Do you arrange and record all my late military letters and 
papers. Arrange my accounts and settle my books, as you know 

UU« 



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658 DEATH OP WASHINGTON. [Appendix. 

more about them than any one else, and let Mr. Rawlins finish 
recording my other letters, which he has begun." I told him this 
should be done. He then asked, if I recollected any thing which 
it was essential for him to do, as he had but a very short time to 
continue with us. I told him, that I could recollect nothing, but 
that I hoped he was not so near his end. He observed, smiling, 
that he certainly was, and that, as it was the debt which we must 
all pay, he looked to the event with perfect resignation. 

In the course of the afternoon he appeared to be in great pain 
and distress, from the difficulty of breathing, and frequently changed 
his posture in the bed. On these occasions I lay upon the bed 
and endeavoured to raise him, and turn him with as much ease as 
possible. He appeared penetrated with gratitude for my attentions, 
and often said, << I am afraid I shall fatigue you too much " ; and 
upon my assuring him, that I could feel nothing but a wish to give 
him ease, he replied, ** Well, it b a debt we must pay to each 
other, and I hope, when you want aid of this kind, you will find it" 

He asked when Mr. Lewis and Washington CustiS would return. 
(They were then in New Kent.) I told him about the 20th of 
the month. 

^About five o'clock Dr. Craik came again into the room, and, 
upon going to the bedside the General said to him ; '' Doctor, I 
die hard, but I am not afraid to go. I believed, firom my first 
attack, that I should not survive it. My breath cannot last long." 
The Doctor pressed his hand, but could not utter a word. He 
retired firom the bedside, and sat by the fire absorbed in grief J 

Between five and six o'clock Dr. Dick and Dr. Brown came 
into the room, and with Dr. Craik went to the bed, when Dr. Craik 
asked him if he could sit up in the bed. He held out his hand, 
and I raised him up. He then said to the physicians ; " I feel 
myself going ; I thank you for your attentions ; but I pray you to 
take no more trouble about me. Let me go off quietly. I cannot 
last long." They found that all which had been done was without 
effect. He lay down again, and all retired except Dr. Craik. 
He continued in the same situation, uneasy and restless, but with- 
out complaining ; firequently asking what hour it was. When I 
helped him to move at this time, he did not speak, but looked at 
me with strong expressions of gratitude. 

About eight o'clock the physicians came again into the room, 
and applied blisters and cataplasms of wheat bran to his legs and 
feet, after which they went out, except Dr. Craik, without a ray of 
hope. I went out about this time, and wrote a line to Mr. Law and 



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Appendix.] DEATH OP WASHINGTON. 559 

Mr. Peter, requesting them to come with their wives (Mrs. Wash, 
ington's granddaughters) as soon as possible to Mount Vernon. 

About ten o'clock he made several attempts to speak to me 
before he could effect it. At length he said ; **1 am just going. 
Have me decently buried ; and do not let my body be put into the 
vault in less than three days after I am dead." I bowed assent, 
for I could not speak. He then looked at me again and said ; 
" Do you understand me ?" I replied, " Yes." " 'T is well," said he. 

About ten minutes before he expired (which was between ten 
and eleven o'clock), his breathing became easier. He lay quietly ; 
he withdrew his hand from mine, and felt his own pulse. I saw his 
countenance change. I spoke to Dr. Craik, who sat by the fire. 
He came to the bedside. The General's hand fell from his wrist. 
I took it in mine, and pressed it to my bosom. Dr. Craik put his 
hands over his eyes, and he expired without a struggle or a sigh. 

While we were fixed in silent grief, Mrs. Washington, who was 
sitting at the foot of the bed, asked with a firm and collected 
voice ; '' Is he^gone ? " I could not speak, but held up my hand 
as a signal, that he was no more. " 'T is well," said she, in the 
same voice, '' all is now over ; I shall soon follow him ; I have no 
more trials to pass through." 

OCCCTRRENCES NOT NOTED IN THE PRECEDING NARRATIVE. 

The General's servant, Christopher, was in the room during the 
day ; and in the afternoon the General directed him to sit down, 
as he had been standing almost the whole day. He did so. 

About eight o'clock in the morning, he expressed a desire to get 
up. His clothes were put on, and he was led to a chair by the 
fire. He found no relief from that position, and lay down again 
about ten o'clock. 

About five in the aflemoon, he was helped up again, and, after 
sitting about half an hour, he desired to be undressed and put in 
bed, which was done. 

During hb whole illness he spoke but seldom, and with great 
difficulty and distress; and in so low and broken a voice, as at 
times hardly to be understood. His patience, fortitude, and resig- 
nation never forsook him for a moment. In all his distress he 
uttered not a sigh nor a complaint ; always endeavouring, from a 
sense of duty as it appeared, to take what was offered him, and to 
do as he was desired by the physicians. 

At the time of his decease. Dr. Craik and myself were in the 



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660 DEATH OP WASHINGTON. [Apfindix. 

situation before mentioned. Mrs. Washington was sitting near 
the foot of the bed. Christopher was standing near the bedside. 
Caroline, Molly, and Charlotte were in the room, standing near 
the door. Mrs. Forbes, the housekeeper, was frequently in the 
room during the day and efening. 

As soon as Dr. Craik could ^>eak, after the distressing scene was 
closed, he desired one of the servants to ask the gentlemen below 
to come up stairs. When they came to the bedside, I kissed the 
cold hand, which I had held to my bosom, laid it down, and went 
to the other end of the room, where I was for some time lost in 
profound grief, until aroused by Christopher desiring me to take 
care of the General's keys, and other things, which were taken out 
of his pockets, and which Mrs. Washington directed him to give 
to me. I wrapped them in the General's handkerchief, and took 
them to my room. 

About twelve o'clock the corpse was brought down stairs, and 
laid out in the large room.* 



Sunday y December I5ih. Mrs. Washington sent for me in the 
morning, and desired that I would send up to Alexandria and 
have a coffin made, which I did. 

Mrs. Stuart was sent for in the morning. About ten o'clock, 
Mr. Thomas Peter came down ; and about two, Mr. and Mrs. Law, 
to whom I had written on Saturday evening. Dr. Thornton came 
down with Mr. Law. Dr. Craik stayed all day and night 

In the evening I consulted with Mr. Law, Mr. Peter, and Dr. 
Craik on fixing a day for depositing the body in the vault I 
wished the ceremony to be pos^ned till the last of the week, to 
give time to some of the General's relations to be here ; but Dr. 
Craik and Dr. Thornton gave it decidedly as their opinion, that, 
considering the disorder of which the General died, being of an 
inflammatory nature, it would not be proper to keep the body so 
long, and therefore Wednesday was fixed upon for the fiueral. 

Monday, December I6th. I directed the people to open the 
family vault, clear away the rubbbh about it, and make every thing 
decent ; ordered a door to be made to the vault, instead of closing 

* The following certificate, in the handwriting of Dr. Craik, is appended 
to the above portion of Mr. Lear's narrative. 

" Sunday, December 15fA. The foxegoing statement, so fiir as I can lecoUect, 
is correct. " Jas. Craik." 



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Appendix.] DEATH OP WASHINGTON. 561 

it again with brick, as had been the custom. Engaged Mr. Inglis 
and Mr. Munn to have a mahogany coffin made, lined with lead. 

Dr. Craik, Mr. Peter, and Dr. Thornton left us after breakfast. 
Mrs. Stuart and her daughters came in the afternoon. Mr. Ander- 
son went to Alexandria to get a number of things preparatory for 
the funeral. Mourning was ordered for the family, domestics, and 
overseers. 

Having received information ftom Alexandria, that the militia, 
freemasons, ^^c, were determined to show their respect for the 
General's memory, by attending his body to the grave, I directed 
provision to be prepared for a large number of people, as some 
refreshment would be expected by them. Mr. Robert Hamilton 
wrote to me a letter, informing me that a schooner of his would 
be off Mount Vernon to fire minute guns, while the body was car- 
rying to the grave. I gave notice of the time fixed for the funeral 
to the following persons by Mrs. Washington's desire ; namely, Mr. 
Mason and family, Mr. Peake and family, Mr. Nickols and family, 
Mr. M^Carty and family, Miss M^Carty, Mr. and Mrs. M^^Clana- 
han. Lord Fairfax and family, Mr. Triplet and family, Mr. Ander- 
son and family, Mr. Diggs, Mr. Cockburn and family, Mr. Massey 
and family, and Mr. R. West. Wrote also the Rev. Mr. Davis to 
read the service. 

Tuesday^ December 17 th. Every preparation for the mournful 
ceremony was making. Mr. Stewart, adjutant of the Alexandria 
regiment, came to view the ground for the procession. About one 
o'clock the coffin was brought from Alexandria. Mr. Grater 
accompanied it with a shroud. The body was laid in the coffin. 
The mahogany coffin was lined with lead, soldered at the joints, 
with a cover of lead to be soldered on after, the body should be in 
the vault. The coffin was put into a case, lined and covered with 
black cloth. 

Wednesday f December IQth. About eleven o'clock numbers of 
people began to assemble to attend the funeral, which was intended 
to have been at twelve o'clock ; but, as a great part of the troops 
expected could not get down in time, it did not take place till 
three. 

Eleven pieces of artillery were brought fi'om Alexandria; and 
a schooner, belonging to Mr. R. Hamilton, came down and lay 
off Mount Vernon to fire minute guns. 

About three o'clock the procession began to move. The ar- 
rangements of the procession were made by Colonels Little, Simms, 
Denealc, and Dr. Dick. The pall-holders were Colonels Little, 

VOL. I. 71 



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662 DEATH OP WASHINGTON. [Afpehdix. 

Simins, Payne, Gilpin, Ramsey, and Marsteler. Colonel Black- 
burn preceded the corpse. Colonel Deneale marched with the 
military. The procession moved out through the gate at the led 
wing of the house, and proceeded round in front of the lawn, and 
down to the vault on the right wing of the house. The procession 
as follows ; 

The Troops, horse and foot. 
The Clergy, namely, the Reverend Messrs. Davis, Muir, Mofiatt, 

and Addison. 
The General's horse, with his saddle, holsters, and pistols, led by 
two grooms, Cyrus and Wilson, in black. 
The Body, borne by the Freemasons and Officers. 
Principal Mourners, namely, 
Mrs. Stuart and Mrs. Law, 
Misses Nancy and Sally Stuart, 
Miss Fairfax and Miss Dennison, 
Mr. Law and Mr. Peter, 
Mr. Lear and Dr. Craik, 
Lord Fairfax and Ferdinando Fairfax. 
Lodge, No. 23. 
Corporation of Alexandria. 
All other persons; preceded 
by Mr. Anderson and the Overseers. 

When the body arrived at the vault, the Rev. Mr. Davis read 
the service, and pronounced a short address. 

The Masons performed their ceremonies, and the body was 
deposited in the vault. 

After the ceremony, the company returned to the house, where 
they took some refreshment, and retired in good order. 



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AppBifDix.] PROCEEDINGS OF CONGRESS. 563 



No. m. p. 531. 

PROCE£DIf<GS OF CONGRESS IN CONSEQUENCE OF THE 
DEATH OF WASHINGTON. 

SPEECH OF JOHN MARSHALL IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, 
AND RESOLUTIONS ADOPTED BY THE HOUSE, DECEMBER 19tH, 

1799.» 

Mr. Speaker, 

The melancholy event, which was yesterday announced with 
doubt, has been rendered but too certain. Our Washington is 
no more ! The hero, the patriot, and the sage of America ; the 
man on whom in times of danger every eye was turned, and all 
hopes were placed, lives now only in his own great actions, and 
in the hearts of an affectionate and afflicted people. 

If, Sir, it had even not been usual openly to testify respect for 
the memory of those whom Heaven has selected as its instru- 
ments for dispensing good to man, yet such has been the ud« 
common worth, and such the extraordinary incidents, which have 
marked the life of him whose loss we all deplore, that the whole 
American nation, impelled by the same feelings, would call with 
one voice for a public manifestation of that sorrow, which is so 
deep and so universal. 

More than any other individual, and as much as to one indi- 
vidual was possible, has he contributed to found this our wide- 
spreading empire, and to give to the western world independence 
and freedom. 

Having effected the great object for which he was placed at 
the head of our armies, we have seen him convert the sword into 
the ploughshare, and sink the soldier in the citizen. 

When the debility of our federal system had become manifest, 
and the bonds which connected this vast continent were dissolv- 
ing, we have seen him the chief of those patriots, who formed for 
us a constitution, which, by preserving the union, will, I trust, 
substantiate and perpetuate those blessings, which our Revolution 
had promised to bestow. 

In obedience to the general voice of his country, calling him 
to preside over a great people, we have seen him once more quit 

* The iBtelligenoe of the death of Washington had been received the pre- 
ceding day, and the honee immediately adjoomed. The next morning Mr. 
Marshall addressed this speech to the house. 



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664 PROCEEDINGS OP CONGRESS. [Afpewdix. 

the retirement he loTed, and, in a season more storm j and tem- 
pestuous than war itself, with calm and wise determination pur* 
sue the true interests of the nation, and contribute, more than any 
other could contribute, to the establishment of that system of policy, 
which will, I trust, yet preserve our peace, our honor, and our 
independence. 

Having been twice unanimously chosen the chief magbtrate of 
a free people, we have seen him, at a time when his reelection 
with universal suffrage could not be doubted, afford to the world 
a rare instance of moderation, by withdrawing from his station to 
the peaceful walks of private life. 

However the public confidence may change, and the public af- 
fections fluctuate with respect to others, with respect to him they 
have, in war and in peace, in public and in private life, been as 
steady as his own firm mind, and as constant as his own exalted 
virtues. 

Let us, then, Mr. Speaker, pay the last tribute of respect and 
affection to our departed friend. Let the grand council of the 
nation display those sentiments which the nation feels. For this 
purpose I hold in my hand some resolutions which I take the 
liberty of offering to the house. 

Resolved, That this house will wait on the President, in con- 
dolence of this mournful event. 

Resolved, That the Speaker's chair be shrouded with black, 
and that the members and officers of the house wear black during 
the session. 

Resolved, That a committee, in conjunction with one from the 
Senate, be appointed to consider on the most suitable manner of 
paying honor to the memory of the man, first in war, first in peace, 
and first in the hearts of his fellow-citizens. 



LETTER FROM THE SENATE TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE 
UNITED STATES. 

S3 December, 1799. 
Sir, 
The Senate of the United States respectfully take leave to ex- 
press to you their deep regret for the loss their country sustains 
in the death of General George Washington. 

This event, so distressing to all our fellow-citizens, must be 
peculiarly heavy to you, who have long been associated with him 
in deeds of patriotism. Permit us. Sir, to mingle our tears with 



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Appendix.] PROCEEDINGS OF CONGRESS. 566 

yours. On this occasion it is manly to weep. To lose such a 
man, at such a crisis, is no common calamity to the world. Our 
country mourns a father. The Almighty Disposer of human events 
has taken from us our greatest benefactor and ornament. It be- 
comes us to submit with reverence to him " who maketh darkness 
his pavilion.'' 

With patriotic pride we review the life of our Washmgton, and 
compare him with those of other countries who have been pre- 
eminent in fame. Ancient and modern times are diminished be- 
fore him. Greatness and guilt have too often been allied ; but 
his fame is whiter than it is brilliant. The destroyers of nations 
stood abashed at the majesty of his virtues. It reproved the in- 
temperance of their ambition, and darkened the splendor of vic- 
tory. The scene is closed, and we are no longer anxious lest 
misfortune should sully his glory ; he has travelled on to the end 
of his journey, and carried with him an increasing weight of 
honor ; he has deposited it safely, where misfortune cannot tarnish 
it, where malice cannot blast it. Favored of Heaven, he depart- 
ed without exhibiting the weakness of humanity. Magnanimous 
in death, the darkness of the grave could not obscure his brightness. 

Such was the man whom we deplore. Thanks to God, his glory 
is consummated. Washington yet lives on earth in his spotless 
example ; his spirit is in Heaven. 

Let his countrymen consecrate the memory of the heroic gen- 
eral, the patriotic statesman, and the virtuous sage. Let them 
teach their children never to forget, that the fruits of hb labors 
and his example are their inheritance. 

THE president's ANSWER. 

23 December, 1799. 
Gentlemen op the Senate, 

I receive with the most respectful and affectionate sentiments, 
in this impressive address, the obliging expressions of your regret 
for the loss our country has sustained in the death of her most 
esteemed, beloved, and admired citizen. 

In the multitude of my thoughts and recollections on this mel- 
ancholy event, you will permit me to say, that I have seen him 
in the days of adversity, in some of the scenes of his deepest dis- 
tress and most trying perplexities. I have also attended him in 
his highest elevation and most prosperous felicity, with uniform 
admiration of his wisdom, moderation, and constancy. 

VOL, I. V V 



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666 PROCEEDINGS OP CONGRESS. [Awkkpuc. 

Among all our original associates in that memorable league of 
this continent, in 1774, which first expressed the sovereign will 
of a free nation in America, he was the only one remaining in 
the general government Although with a constitution more en- 
feebled than his, at an age when he thought it necessary to pre- 
pare for retirement, I feel myself alone, bereaved of my last brother, 
yet I derive a strong consolation from the unanimous di^x>sition 
which appears in all ages and classes, to mingle their sorrows 
with mine, on this common calamity to the world. 

The life of our Washington cannot suffer by a comparison with 
those of other countries, who have been most celebrated and ex- 
alted by fame. The attributes and decorations of royalty could 
only have served to eclipse the majesty of those virtues which 
made him, from being a modest citizen, a more resplendent lu- 
minary. Misfortune, had he lived, could hereafter have sullied 
his glory only with those superficial minds, who, believing that 
character and actions are marked by success alone, rarely deserve 
to enjoy it. Malice could never blast his honor, and envy made 
him a singular exception to her universal rule. For himself, he 
had lived long enough to life and to glory ; for his fellow-citizens, 
if their prayers could have been answered, he would have been 
immortal ; for me, his departure is at a most unfortunate moment 
Trusting, however, in the wise and righteous dominion of Provi- 
dence over the passions of men and the results of their actions, 
as well as over their lives, nothing remains for me but humble 
resignation. 

His example is now complete ; and it will teach wisdom and 
virtue to magistrates, citizens, and men, not only in the present 
age, but in future generations, as long as our history shall be 
read. If a Trajan found a Pliny, a Marcus Aurelius can never 
want biographers, eulogists, or historians. 

John Adams. 

joint resolutions adopted by both houses of congress. 

December 23</. Resolved, by the Senate and House of Repre- 
sentatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled. 
That a marble monument be erected by the United States at the 
Capitol of the city of Washington, and that the family of General 
Washington be requested to permit his body to be deposited under 
it, and that the monument be so designed as to commemorate the 
great events of his military and political life. 



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AFPEifDix.] PROCEEDINGS OF CONGRESS. 667 

And be it further resolved, that there be a funeral procession 
from Congress Hall, to the German Lutheran church, in memory 
of General George Washington, on Thursday the 26th instant, 
and that an oration be prepared at the request of Congress, to be 
delivered before both houses that day ; and that the President 
of the Senate, and Speaker of the House of Representatives, be 
desired to request one of the members of Congress to prepare 
and deliver the same. 

And be it further resolved, that it be recommended to the peo- 
ple of the United States, to wear crape on their left arm, as mourn- 
ing, for thirty days. 

And be it further resolved, that the President of the United 
States be requested to direct a copy of these resolutions to be 
transmitted to Mrs. Washington, assuring her of the profound re- 
spect Congress will ever bear for her person and character, of 
their condolence on the late afflicting dispensation of Providence ; 
and entreating her assent to the interment of the remains of Gen- 
eral Washington in the manner expressed in the first resolution. 

Resolved, that the President of the United States be requested 
to issue his proclamation, notifying to the people throughout 
the United States the recommendation contained in the third 
resolution. 

December 30M. Resolved, That it be recommended to the peo- 
ple of the United States to assemble, on the twenty-second day 
of February next, in such numbers and manner as may be con- 
venient, publicly to testify their grief for the death of General 
George Washington, by suitable eulogies, orations, and discourses, 
or by public prayers. 

And it is further resolved. That the President be requested to 
issue a proclamation, for the purpose of carrying the foregoing 
resolution into effect. 



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568 MONUMENTAL INSCRIPTION, [Appehdix. 

No. IV. 
CHARACTER OF WASHINGTON; 

DESIGNED FOR A MONUMENTAL INSCRIPTION.* 



WASHINGTON, 

The Defender of his Country, the Founder of Liberty, 

The Friend of Man. 

History and Tradition are explored in vain 

For a Parallel to his Character. 

In the Annals of modem Greatness, 

He stands alone, 

And the noblest Names of Antiquity 

Lose their Lustre in his Presence. 

Born the Benefactor of Mankind, 

He united all the Qualities necessary 

To an Illustrious Career. 

Nature made him Great, 

He made himself Virtuous. 

Called by his Country to the Defence of her Liberties, 

He triumphantly vindicated the Rights of Humanity, 

And on the Pillars of National Independence 

Laid the Foundations of a Great Republic. 

Twice invested with Supreme Magistracy 

By the Unanimous Voice of a Free People, 

He surpassed in the Cabinet 

The Glories of the Field, 

And, voluntarily resigning the Sceptre and the Sword 

Retired to the Shades of Private Life. 

A Spectacle so new and so sublime 

Was contemplated with the profoundest Admiration; 

And the Name of WASHINGTON, 

Adding new Lustre to Humanity, 

Resounded to the rerpotest Regions of the Earth. 

Magnanimous in Youth, 

Glorious through Life, 

Great in Death, 

His highest Ambition the Happiness of Mankind, 

His noblest Victory the Conquest of himself. 

Bequeathing to Posterity the Inheritance of his Fame, 

And building his Monument in the Hearts of his Countrymen, 

He lived the Ornament of the Eighteenth Century, 

He died regretted by a mourning World. 

* The author of this composition is not known. It has been txanBcribed 
from a manuscript copy, written on the back of a pictare-frame, in which 
is net a miniature likeness of Washington, and which hangs in one of the 
rooms of the mansion at Mount Vernon, having been left there aome time 
after Washington's death. 



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Appendix.] WASHINGTON'S WILL. 569 

No. V. 
WASHINGTON'S WILL. 



IN THE NAME OF GOD, AMEN. 

I, George Washington, of Mount Vernon, a citizen of the 
United States, and lately President of the same, do make, ordain, 
and declare this instrument, which is written with my own hand, 
and every page thereof subscribed with my name,* to be my last 
Will and Testament, revoking all others. 

Imprimis. — All my debts, of which there are but few, and none 
of magnitude, are to be punctually and speedily paid, and the 
legacies, herein afler bequeathed, are to be discharged as soon as 
circumstances will permit, and in the manner directed. 

Item. — To my dearly beloved wife, Martha Washington, I give 
and bequeath the use, profit, and benefit of my whole estate, real 
and personal, for the term of her natural life, except such parts 
thereof as are specially disposed of hereafter. My improved lot in 
the town of Alexandria, situated on Pitt and Cameron streets, I give to 
her and her heirs for ever ; as I also do my household and kitchen 
furniture of every sort and kind, with the liquors and groceries 
which may be on hand at the time of my decease, to be used and 
disposed of as she may think proper. 

Item. — Upon the decease of my wife, it is my will and desire 
that all the slaves whom I hold in my ovm right shall receive their 
freedom. To emancipate them during her life would, though 
earnestly wished by me, be attended with such insuperable difficulties, 
on account of their intermixture by marriage with the dower negroes, 
as to excite the most painful sensations, if not disagreeable conse- 
quences to the latter, while both descriptions are in the occupancy 
of the same proprietor ; it not being in my power, under the tenure 
by which the dower negroes are held, to manumit them. And 
whereas, among those who will receive freedom according to this 
devise, there may be some, who, from old age or bodily infirmities, 
and others, who, on account of their infancy, will be unable to 
support themselves, it is my will and desire, that all, who come under 
the first and second description, shall be comfortably clothed and 
fed by my heirs while they live ; and that such of the latter descrip- 

* In the original manueccipt, George Washiwqton's name was written at the 
bottom of every page. 

VOL, L 72 vv« 



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570 WASHINGTON'S WILL. [Amifi>iz. 

lion as have no parents living, or, if living, are unable or unwilling 
to provide for them, shall be bound by the court until thej shall 
arrive at the age of twenty-five years ; and, in cases where no record 
can be produced, whereby their ages can be ascertained, the judg- 
ment of the court, upon its own view of the subject, shall be adequate 
and final. The negroes thus bound, are (by their masters or mis- 
tresses) to be taught to read and write, and to be brought up to 
some useful occupation, agreeably to the laws of the Commonwealth 
of Virginia, providing for the support of orphan and other poor 
children. And I do hereby expressly forbid the sale or transporta- 
tion out of the said Commonwealth, of any slave I may die possessed 
of, under any pretence whatsoever. And I do, moreover, most 
pointedly and most solemnly enjoin it upon my executors hereafter 
named, or the survivors of them, to see that this clause respecting 
slaves, and every part thereof, be religiously fulfilled at the epoch at 
which it is directed to take place, without evasion, neglect, or delay, 
after the crops which may then be on the ground are harvested, 
particularly as it respects the aged and infirm ; seeing that a regular 
and permanent fiind be established for their support, as long as there 
are subjects requiring it ; not trusting to the uncertain provision to 
be made by individuals. And to my mulatto man, Wimam^ calling 
himself WtUiam Lee, I give immediate fi-eedom, or, if he should 
prefer it, (on account of the accidents which have befallen him, and 
which have rendered him incapable of walking, or of any active 
employment,) to remain in the situation he now is, it shall be 
optional in him to do so ; in either case, however, I allow him an 
annuity of thirty dollars, during his natural life, which shall be 
independent of the victuals and clothes he has been accustomed to 
receive, if he chooses the last alternative; but in full with his 
freedom, if he prefers the first ; and this I give him, as a testimony 
of my sense of his attachment to me, and for his faithful services 
during the revolutionary war. 

Jtefn. — To the trustees (governors, or by whatsoever othei 
name they may be designated) of the Academy in the town of 
Alexandria, I give and bequeath, in trust, four thousand dollars, 
or in other words, twenty of the shares which I hold in the Bank of 
Alexandria, towards the support of a free school, established at, 
and annexed to, the said Academy, for the purpose of educating 
such orphan children, or the children of such other poor and 
indigent persons, as are unable to accomplish it with their own 
means, and who, in the judgment of the trustees of the said sem- 
inary, are best entitled to the benefit of this donation. The aforesaid 
twenty shares I give and bequeath in perpetuity ; the dividends only 



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AppEifDix.] WASHINGTON'S WILL. 571 

of which are to be drawn for, and applied by the said trustees, for 
the time being, for the uses above mentioned ; the stock to remain 
entire and untouched, unless indications of failure of the said bank 
should be so apparent, or a discontinuance thereof, should render a 
removal of this fund necessary. In either of these cases, the amount 
of the stock here devised is to be vested in some other bank, or 
public institution, whereby the interest may with regularity and 
certainty be drawn and applied as above. And to prevent miscon- 
ception, my meaning is, and is hereby declared to be, that these 
twenty shares are in lieu of, and not in addition to, the thousand 
pounds given by a missive letter some years ago, in consequence 
whereof an annuity of fidy pounds has since been paid towards the 
support of this institution. 

Item. — Whereas by a law of the Commonwealth of Virginia, 
enacted in the year 1785, the Legidature thereof was pleased, as an 
evidence of its approbation of the services I had rendered the public 
during the Revolution, and partly, I believe, in consideration of my 
having suggested the vast advantages which the community would 
derive from the extension of its inland navigation under legislative 
patronage, to present me with one hundred shares, of one hundred 
dollars each, in the incorporated Company, established for the pur- 
pose of extending the navigation of James River, from the tide water 
to the mountains ; and also with fifty shares, of <£100 sterling each, 
in the corporation of another Company, likewise established for the 
similar purpose of opening the navigation of the River Potomac, from 
the tide water to Fort Cumberland ; the acceptance of which, although 
the offer was highly honorable and grateful to my feelings, was 
refused, as inconsistent with a principle which I had adopted, and 
had never departed from, viz. not to receive pecuniary compensa- 
tion for any services I could render my country in its arduous 
struggle with Great Britain for its rights, and because I had evaded 
similar propositions from other States in the Union ; adding to this i 
refusal, however, an intimation, that, if it should be the pleasure of 
the legislature to permit me to appropriate the said shares to public 
uses, I would receive them on those terms with due sensibility ; and 
this it having consented to, in flattering terms, as will appear by a 
subsequent law, and sundry resolutions, in the most ample and 
honorable manner ; — I proceed after this recital, for the more correct 
imderstanding of the case, to declare ; that, as it has always been 
a flonrce of serious regret with me, to see the youth of these United 
States sent to foreign countries for the purpose of education, often 
before their minds were formed, or they had imbibed any adequate 
ideas of the happiness of their own ; contracting too frequently, not 



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572 WASHINGTON'S WILL. [Afpewpix. 

only habits of dissipation and extravagance, but principles unfriendly 
to republican government, and to the true and genuine liberties of 
mankind, which thereafter are rarely overcome ; for these reasons 
it has been my ardent wish to see a plan devised on a liberal scale, 
which would have a tendency to spread systematic ideas through ail 
parts of this rising empire, thereby to do away local attachments and 
State prejudices, as far as the nature of things would, or indeed 
ought to admit, from our national councils. Looking anxiously 
forward to the accomplishment of so desirable an object as this is 
(in my estimation), my mind has not been able to contemplate any 
plan more likely to effect the measure, than the establishment of a 
University in a central part of the United States, to which the 
youths of fortune and talents from all parts thereof may be sent for 
the completion of their education, in all the branches of polite litera* 
ture, in arts and sciences, in acquiring knowledge in the princi- 
ples of politics and good government, and, as a matter of infinite 
importance in my judgment, by associating with each other, and 
forming friendships in juvenile years, be enabled to free themselves 
in a proper degree from those local prejudices and habitual jealousies 
which have just been mentioned, and which, when carried to ex- 
cess, are never-failing sources of disquietude to the public mind, 
and pregnant of mischievous consequences to this country. Under 
these impressions, so fully dilated. 

Item. — I give and bequeath, in perpetuity, the filly shares which 
I hold in the Potomac company, (under the aforesaid acts of the 
Legislature of Virginia,) towards the endowment of a University, 
to be established within the limits of the district of Columbia, under 
the auspices of the general government, if that government should 
incline to extend a fostering hand towards it; and, until such 
seminary is established, and the funds arising on these shares shall 
be required for its support, my further will and desire is, that the 
profit accruing therefrom shall, whenever the dividends are made, 
be laid out in purchasing stock in the Bank of Columbia, or some 
other bank, at the discretion of my executors, or by the Treasurer 
of the United States for the time being, under the direction of 
Congress, provided that honorable body should patronize the meas- 
ure ; and the dividends pf^eeding from the purchase of such stock 
is to be vested in more stock, and so on, until a sum adequate 
to the accomplishment of the object is obtained ; of which I have 
not the smallest doubt before many years pass away, even if do aid 
or encouragement is given by the legislative authority, or from 
any other source. 



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Appendix.] WASHINGTON'S WILL. 573 

Item, — The hundred shares, which I hold in the James River 
Company, I have given, and now confirm in perpetuity, to and for 
the use and benefit of Liberty Hall Academy, in the County of 
Rockbridge, in the Commonwealth of Virginia. 

Item, — I release, exonerate, and discharge the estate of my 
deceased brother, Samuel Washington, from the payment of the 
money which is due to me for the land I sold to Philip Pendleton, 
(lying in the county of Berkeley,) who assigned the same to him, the 
said Samuel, who by agreement was to pay me therefor. And 
whereas, by some contract (the purport of which was never commu- 
nicated to me) between the said Samuel and his son, Thornton 
Washington, the latter became possessed of the aforesaid land, 
without any conveyance having passed from me, either to the said 
Pendleton, the said Samuel, or the said Thornton, and without any 
consideration having been made, by which neglect neither the legal 
nor equitable title has been alienated ; it rests therefore with me to 
declare my intentions concerning the premises ; and these are, to 
give and bequeath the said land to whomsoever the said Thornton 
Washington (who is also dead) devised the same, or to his heirs 
for ever, if he died intestate ; exonerating the estate of the said 
Thornton, equally with that of the said Samuel, from payment of 
the purchase money, which, with interest, agreeably to the original 
contract with the said Pendleton, would amount to more than a 
thousand pounds. And whereas two other sons of my said deceased 
brother Samuel, namely, George Steptoe Washington and Lawrence 
Augustine Washington, were, by the decease of those to whose care 
they were committed, brought under my protection, and, in conse- 
quence, have occasioned advances on my part, for their education at 
college and other schools, for their board, clothing, and other 
incidental expenses, to the amount of near five thousand dollars, 
over and above the sums furnished by their estate, which sum it may 
be inconvenient for them or their father's estate to refund ; I do for 
these reasons acquit them and the said estate from the payment 
thereof, my intention being, that all accounts between them and 
me, and. their father's estate and me, shall stand balanced. 

Item, — The balance due to me from the estate of Bartholomew 
Dandridge, deceased, (my wife's brother,) and which amounted on 
the first day of October, 1795, to four hundred and twenty-five 
pounds, (as will appear by an account rendered by his deceased son, 
John Dandridge, who was the acting executor of his father's will,) 
I release and acquit from the payment thereof. And the negroes, 
then thirty-three in number, formerly belonging to the said estate, 



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674 WASHINGTON'S WILL. [Affehdii. 

who were taken in execution, sold, and purchaised in on my accoonf , 
in the year (blank), and ever since have remained in the poeseseion 
and to the use of Mary, widow of the said Bartkohmew Dandridge, 
with their increase, it is my will and desire shall continue and be 
in her possession, without paying hire, or making compensation 
for the same, fin: the time past or to come, during her natural life ; 
at the expiration of which, I direct that all of them who are forty 
years old and upwards shall receive their freedom ; and all under 
that age, and abore sixteen, shall serre seven years and no longer ; 
and all under sixteen years shall serve until they are twenty-five 
years of age, and then be free. And, to avoid disputes respecting the 
ages of any of these negroes, they are to be taken into the court of 
the county in which they reside, and the judgment thereof, in this 
relation, shall be find, and record thereof made, which may be 
adduced as evidence at any time thereafter, if dlspates should arise 
concerning the same. And I further direct, that the htm of the 
said Bartholomew Dandridge shall equally share the benefits arising 
firom the services of the said negroes, according to the tenor of this 
devise, upon the decease of their mother. 

Bern, — If Charles Carter, who intermarried wkh my niece, 
Betty Lewis, is not sufficiently secured in the title to the lots he had 
of me in the town of Fredericksburg, it is my will and desire, that 
my executors shall make such conveyances of them as Ute law 
requires to render it perfect. 

Item, — To my nephew, WtlUam Augustine Washington, and his 
heirs, (if he should conceive them to be objects worth prosecuting,) 
a lot in the town of Manchester, (opposite to Richmond,) Na 265, 
drawn on my sole account, and also the tenth of one or two hundred 
acre lots, and two or three half-acre lots, in the city and vicinity of 
Richmond, drawn in partnership with nine others, all in the lottery 
of the deceased William Byrd, are given ; as is also a lot which I 
purchased of John Hood, conveyed by WUHam Willie and Samuel 
Gordon, trustees of the said John Hood, numbered 199, in the town 
of Edinburgh, in the County of Prince George, State of Virginia. 

Item. — To my nephew, Bushrod Washington, I give and 
bequeath all the papers in my possession, which relate to my civil 
and military administration of the affairs of this country. I leave to 
him also such of my private papers as are worth preserving ; and at 
the decease of my wife, and before, if she is not inclined to retain 
them, I give and bequeath my library of books and pamphlets of 
every kind. 

Item, — Having sold lands which I possessed in the State of 



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Appendix.] WASHINGTON'S WILL. 575 

PcDDsylvania, and part of a tract held in equal right with George 
Clinton^ late governor of New York, in the State of New York, 
my share of land and interest in the Great Dismal Swamp, and a 
tract of land which I owned in the County of Gloucester, — with- 
holding the legal titles thereto, until the consideration nK>ney should 
be paid, — and having moreover leased and conditionally sold (as 
will appear by the tenor of the said leases) all my lands upon the 
Great Kenhawa, and a tract upon Difficult Run, in the Ck>unty of 
Loudoun, it is my will and direction, that whensoever the con- 
tracts are fully and respectively complied with, according to the 
spirit, true intent, and meaning thereof^ on the part of the purchasers, 
their heirs or assigns, that then, and in that case, conveyances are to 
be made, agreeably to the tenns of the said contracts, and the money 
arising therefrom, when paid, to be vested in bank stock; the 
dividends whereof, as of that also which is already vested therein, is 
to inure to my said wife during her life ; but the stock itself is to 
remain and be subject to the general distribution hereafter directed. 

Item, — To the Earl of Buchan I reconunit the " Box made of 
the Oak that sheltered the great Sir WiUiam Wallace, after the 
battle of Falkirk,^' presented to me by his Lordship, in terms too 
flattering for me to repeat, with a request *< to pass it, on the event 
of my decease, to the man in my country, who should appear to 
merit it best, upon the same conditions that have induced him to 
send it to me.'' Whether easy or not to select the man, who 
might comport with his Lordship's opinion in this respect, is not 
for me to say ; but, conceiving that no disposition of this valuable 
curiosity can be more eligible than the recommitment of it to his 
own cabinet, agreeaUy to the original design of the Goldsmiths' 
Company of Edinburgh, who presented it to him, and, at his request, 
consented that it should be transferred to me, I do give and 
bequeath the same to his Lordship; and, in case of his decease, to 
his heir, with my grateful thanks for the distinguished honor of 
presenting it to me, and more especially for the favorable sentiments 
with which he accompanied it. 

Item. — To my brother, Charles WasMngton, I give and bequeath 
the gold-headed cane left me by Dr. Franklin in his will. I add 
nothing to it, because of the ample provision I have made for his 
issue. To the acquaintances and friends of my juvenile years, 
Laxorence Washington and Robert Washington, of Chotanck, I 
give my other two gold-headed canes, having my arms engraved on 
them ; and to each, as they will be useful where they live, I leave 
one of the spyglasses, which constituted part of my equipage daring 



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676 WASHINGTON'S WILL. [Afpe^tdix. 

the late war. To my compatriot in arms, and old and intimate 
friend, Dr. Craik, I give my bureau (or, as the cabinet-makers call 
it, tambour secretary) and the circular chair, an appendage of my 
study. To Dr. DwHd Stuart I give my large shaving and dressing 
table, and my telescope. To the Reverend, now Bryan, Lard Fair- 
fax, I give a Bible, in three large folio volumes, with notes, present- 
ed to me by the Right Reverend T^nnas Wilson, Bishop of Sodor 
and Man. To General de Lafayette I give a pair of finely-wrought 
steel pbtols, taken from the enemy in the revolutionary war. To 
my sisters-in-law, Hannah Washington and Mildred Washington, 
to my friends, Eleanor Stuart, Hannah Washington, of Fairfield, 
and Elizabeth Washington, of Hayfield, I give each a mourning 
ring, of the value of one hundred dollars. These bequests are not 
made for the intrinsic value of them, but as mementos of my esteem 
and regard. To Tobias Lear I give the use of the farm, which he 
now holds in virtue of a lease from me to him and his deceased 
wife, (for and during their natural lives,) free from rent during his 
life ; at the expiration of which, it is to be disposed of as is herein- 
after directed. To Sally B. Haynie, (a distant relation of mine,) I 
give and bequeath three hundred dollars. To Sarah Crreen, daughter 
of the deceased Thomas Bishop, and to Ann Walker, daughter of 
John Alton, also deceased, I give each one hundred dollars, in 
consideration of the attachment of their fathers to me; each of 
whom having lived nearly forty years in my family. To each of my 
nephews, William Augustine Washington, George Lewis, George 
Steptoe Washington, Bushrod Washington, and Samuel Washington, 
I give one of the swords, or couteaux, of which I may die possess- 
ed; and they are to choose in the order they are named. These 
swords are accompanied with an injunction not to unsheath them for 
the purpose of shedding blood, except it be for self-defence, or in 
defence of their country and its rights ; and in the latter case, to 
keep them unsheathed, and prefer falling with them in their hands 
to the relinquishment thereof. 

And now, having gone through these specific devises, with 
explanations for the more correct understanding of the meaning and 
design of them, I proceed to the distribution of the more important 
parts of my estate, in manner following ; 

First. — To my nephew, Bushrod Washington, and his heirs, 
(partly in consideration of an intimation to his deceased father, 
while we were bachelors, and he had kindly undertaken to super- 
intend my estate during my military services, in the former war 
between Great Britain and France, that, if I should fall therein, 



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Appendix.] WASHINGTON'S WILL. 577 

Mount Vernon, then less extensive in domain than at present, should 
become his property,) I give and bequeath all that part thereof, which 
is comprehended within the following limits, viz. Beginning at the 
ford of Dogue Run, near my Mill, and extending along the road, 
and bounded thereby, as it now goes, and ever has gone, since my 
recollection of it, to the ford of Little Hunting Creek, at the Gum 
Spring, until it comes to a knoll opposite to an old road, which 
formerly passed through the lower field of Muddy-Hole Farm ; at 
which, on the north side of the said road, are three red or Spanish 
oaks, marked as a corner, and a stone placed; thence by a line 
of trees, to be marked rectangular, to the back line or outer boundary 
of the tract between Thompson Mason and myself; thence with 
that line easterly (now double ditching, with a post-and-rail fence 
thereon) to the run of Little Hunting Creek ; thence with that run, 
which is the boundary between the lands of the late Humphrey 
Peake and me, to the tide water of the said creek ; thence by that 
water to Potomac , River ; thence with the river to the mouth of 
Dogue Creek ; and thence with the said Dogue Creek to the 
place of beginning at the aforesaid ford; containing upwards of 
four thousand acres, be the same more or less, together with the 
mansion-house, and all other buildings and improvements thereon. 

Second. — In consideration of the consanguinity between them 
and my wife, being as nearly related to her as to myself, as on ac- 
count of the affection I had for, and the obligation I was under to, 
their father when living, who from his youth had attached himself to 
my person, and followed my fortunes through the vicissitudes of the 
late Revolution, aflerwards devoting his time to the superintendence 
of my private concerns for many years, whilst my public employ- 
ments rendered it impracticable for me to do it myself, thereby 
affording me essential services, and always performing them in a 
manner the most filial and respectful ; for these reasons, 1 say, I give 
and bequeath to George Fayette Washington and Lawrence Angus- 
tine Washington^ and their heirs, my estate east of Little Hunting 
Creek, lying on the River Potomac, including the farm of three 
hundred and sixty acres, lea^d to Tobias Lear, as noticed before, 
and containing in the whole, by deed, two thousand and twenty-seven 
acres, be it more or less ; which said estate it is my will and desire 
should be equitably and advantageously divided between them, 
according to quantity, quality, and other circumstances, when the 
youngest shall have arrived at the age of twenty-one years, by three 
judicious and disinterested men ; one to be chosen by each of the 
brothers, and thir third by these two. In the mean time, if the ter- 

VOL. L ' 73 WW 



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678 WASHINGTON'S WILL. [Apfekdii. 

mination of my wife's interest therein should ha?e ceased, the profits 
arising therefrom are to be applied for their joint uses and benefit. 

Third. — And whereas, it has always been my intention, since 
my expectation of having issue has ceased, to consider the grand- 
children of my wife in the same light as I do my own relations, and 
to act a friendly part by them ; more especially by the two whom we 
hare raised from their earliest infancy, namely, Eleamor Parke Cut" 
tis and George Weukingtan Parke Custis ; and whereas the former 
of these hath lately intermarried with Lawrence Lewis, a son of my 
deceased sister, Betty Lewis, by which union the inducement to 
provide for them both has been increased ; wherefore I give and 
bequeath to the said Lawrence Lewis, and Eleanor Parke Lewis, his 
wife, and their heirs, the residue of my Mount Vernon estate, not 
already devised to my nephew, Buskrod Washington, comprehended 
within the following description, viz. All the land north of the road 
leading from the ford of Dogue Run to the Gum Spring, as described 
in the devise of the other part of the tract to Buskrod Washington, 
until it comes to the stone and three red or Spanish oaks on the 
knoll ; thence with the rectangular line to the hack line (between 
Mr. Mason and me) ; thence with that line westerly along the new 
double ditch to Dogue Run, by the tumbling dam of my Mill ; thence 
with the said run to the ford aforementioned. To which I add all 
the land I possess west of the said Dogua Run and Dogue Creek, 
bounded easterly and southerly thereby; together with the mill, 
distillery, and all other houses and improvements on the premises, 
making together about two thousand acres, be it more or less. 

Fourth. — Actuated by the principle already mentioned, I give 
and bequeath to George Washington Parke Custis, the grandson of 
my wife, and my ward, and to his heirs, the tract I bold on Four 
Mile Run, in the vicinity of Alexandria, containing one thousand 
two hundred acres, more or less, and my entire square. No. 21, in 
the city of Washington. 

Fifth. — All the rest and residue of my estate real and per- 
sonal, not disposed of in manner aforesaid, in whatsoever con- 
sisting, wheresoever lying, and whensoever found, (a schedule of 
which, as far as is recollected, with a reasonable estimate of its 
value, is hereunto annexed,) I desire may be sold by my execu- 
tors, at such times, in such manner, and on such credits, (if an 
equal, valid, and satisfactory distribution of the specific property 
cannot be made without,) as in their judgment shall be most con- 
ducive to the interest of the parties concerned ; and the moneys 
arising therefrom to be divided into twenty-three equal parts, 
and applied as follows, viz. To WilUam Augustine Washington, 



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Aptewdix.] WASHINGTON'S WILL. 679 

Elizabeth Spotswood^ Jane Thornton, and the heirs of Ann Ashton, 
sons and daughters of my deceased brother, Augustine Washington, 
I give and bequeath four parts ; that is, one part to each of them. 
To Fielding Lewis, Oeorge Lewis, Robert Lewis, Howell Lewis, 
and Betty Carter, sons and daughters of my deceased sister, Betty 
Lewis, I give and bequeath five other parts ; one to each of them. 
To George Steptoe Washington, Lawrence Augustine Washington, 
Harriot Parks, and the heirs of Thornton Washington, sons and 
daughters of my deceased brother Samuel Washington, I give and 
bequeath other four parts ; one to each of them. To Corbin Washr 
ington, and the heirs of Jane Washington, son and daughter of my 
deceased brother, John Augustine Washington, I give and bequeath 
two parts ; one to each of them. To Samuel Washington, Frances 
Bail, and Mildred Hammond, son and daughters of my brother 
Charles Washington, I give and bequeath three parts ; one part to 
each of them. And to Oeorge Fayette Washington, Charles Au^ 
gustine Washington, and Maria Wc^hington, sons and daughter of 
my deceased nephew, George Augustine Washington, I give one 
other part ; that is, to each a third of that part To EUxabeth Parke 
Law, Martha Parke Peter, and Eleanor Parke Lewis, I give and 
bequeath three other parts ; that is, a part to each of them. And to 
my nephews, Bushrod Washington and Lawrence Lewis, and to my 
ward, the grandson of my wife, I give and bequeath one other part; 
that is, a third thereof to each of them. And, if it should so 
happen, that any of the persons whose names are here enumerated 
(unknown to me) should now be dead, or should die before me, that 
in either of these cases, the heirs of such deceased person shall, not^ 
withstanding, derive all the benefits of the bequest, in the same 
manner as if he or she was actually living at the time. And, by way 
of advice, I recommend it to my executors not to be precipitate in 
disposing of the landed property, (herein directed to be sold,) if from 
temporary causes the sale thereof should be dull ; experience having 
fully evinced, that the price of land, especially above the falls of the 
river and on the western waters, has been progressively rising, and 
cannot be long checked in its increasing value. And I particularly 
recommend it to such of the legatees (under this clause of my will), 
as can make it convenient, to take each a share of my stock in the 
Potomac Company, in preference to the amount of what it might 
sell for ; being thoroughly convinced myself, that no uses to which 
the money can be applied, will be so productive as the tolls arising 
firom this navigation when in full operation, (and thus, fi'om the 
nature of things, it must be, ere long,) and more especially if that of 
the Shenandoah is added thereto. 



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580 WASHINGTON'S WILL. [Appbeomx. 

The family vault at Mount Veraon requiring repairs, and being 
improperly situated besides, I desire that a new one of brick, and 
upon a larger scale, may be built at the foot of what is commonly 
called the Vineyard Enclosure, on the ground which is marked out ; 
in which my remains, with those of my deceased relations, (now 
in the old vault,) and such others of my family as may choose to be 
entombed there, may be deposited. And it is my express desire, 
that my corpse may be interred in a private manner, without parade 
or funeral oration. 

Lastly, I constitute and appoint my dearly beloved wife, Martha 
Washington, my nephews, WilUixm Augustine Washington, Buskrod 
Washington, Oeorge Steptoe Washington, Samuel Washington, and 
Launrence Lewis, and my ward, George Washington Parke ChisHs, 
(when he shall have arrived at the age of twenty-one years,) execu- 
trix and executors of this my will and testament ; in the construction 
of which it will be readily perceived, that no professional character 
has been consulted, or has had any agency in the draft ; and that, 
although it has occupied many of my leisure hours to digest, and to 
throw it into its present form, it may, notwithstanding, appear crude 
and incorrect ; but, having endeavoured to be plain and explicit in all 
the devises, even at the expense of prolixity, perhaps of tautology, I 
hope and trust that no disputes will arise concerning them. But if, 
contrary to expectation, the case should be otherwise, from the want 
of legal expressions, or the usual technical terms, or because too 
much or too little has been said on any of the devises to be conso- 
nant with law, my will and direction expressly is, that all disputes 
(if unhappily any should arise) shall be decided by three impartial 
and intelligent men, known for their probity and good understand- 
ing; two to be chosen by the disputants, each having the choice of 
one, and the third by those two; which three men, thus chosen, 
shall, unfettered by law or legal constructions, declare their sense 
of the testator's intention ; and such decision is, to all intents and 
purposes, to be as binding on the parties as if it had been given in 
the Supreme Court of the United States. 

In witness of all and of each of the things herein contained, I have 
set my hand and seal, this ninth day of July, in the year one 
thousand seven hundred and ninety,* and of the Independence 
of the United States the twenty-fourth, 

GEORGE WASHINGTON. 

* It appears that the testator omitted the word ''nine.*' 



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b 



Appendix.] WASHINGTON'S WILL. 681 

SCHEDULE OF PROPERTY 

CompreJiended in the foregoing Will, tchich is directed to be sold ; 
and some of it conditionally is sold ; with descriptive and eiplanr 
atory Notes relative thereto. 

IN VIRGINIA. 

Price. 
Acres. Dollon. DolUn. 

Loudoun County, Difficult Run, 300 6,666 a 

Loudoun and Fauquier, Ashby's Bent, 2481 10 24,810 
Chattin's Run, 885 8 7,080 

Berkeley, South Fork of Bullskin, 1600 

Head of Evans's M., 453 

In Wormeley's Line, 183 

2236 20 44,720 c 
Frederic, bought from Mercer, 571 20 11,420 d 

Hampshire, on Potomac River, above B., 240 15 3,600 e 
Gloucester, on North River, 400 about 3,600 / 

Nansemond, near Suffolk, one third of 

1119 acres, 373 8 2,984 g 

Great Dismal Swamp, my dividend thereof, about 20,000 h 

Ohio River, Round Bottom, 587 

Little Kenhawa, 2314 

Sixteen miles lower down, 2448 



Opposite Big Bent, 


4395 










9744 


10 


97,440 


1 


Great Kenhawa, 










Near the mouth, west, 


10990 








East side, above. 


7276 








Mouth of Cole River, 


2000 








Opposite thereto, 


2950 








Burning Spring, 


125 

3075 














200,000 


k 


MARYLAND. 








Charles County, 


600 


6 


3,600 


I 


Montgomery County, 


519 


12 


6,228 


m 


PENNSYLVANIA. 








Great Meadows, 


234 
WW 


6 

• 


1,404 


It 



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682 WASHINGTON'S WILL. {Afpendix. 

NEW YORK. 

Acre*. Price. DoUva. 

Mohawk River, about 1000 6 6,000 o 

NORTHWEST TERRITORY. 

On Little Miami, 839 

Ditto, 977 

Ditto, 1235 

3051 5 15,355 p 

KENTUCKY. 

Rough Creek, 3000 

Ditto, adjoining, 2000 

5000 2 10,000 q 

LOTS. 
CITY OF WASHINGTON. 
Two near the Capitol, Square 634, cost 963 dollars, 

and with buildings, 15,000 r 

Nos. 5, 12, 13, and 14, the last three water lots on the 
Eastern Branch, in Square 667, containing together 
34,438 square feet, at 12 cents, 4,132 $ 

ALEXANDRIA. 

Corner of Pitt and Prince streets, half an acre, laid 
out into buildings, three or four of which are let on 
ground rent, at three dollars per foot, 4,000 t 

WINCHESTER, 

A lot in the town, of half an acre, and another on the 

commons, of about six acres, supposed, 400 u 

BATH, OR WARM SPRINGS. 

Two well-situated and handsome buildings, to the 

amount of ^£150, 800 v 

STOCK. 

United States 6 per cent. 3,746 

Ditto, deferred, 1,873 



Ditto, 3 per cent. 2,946 

2,500 



6,240 w 



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Appewdix.] WASHINGTON'S WILL. 583 

Dollars. 

Potomac Company, 24 shares, cost each i^lOO sterling, 10,666 x 
James RWer Company, 5 shares, each cost 100 dollars, 500 y 
Bank of Columbia, 170 shares, 40 dollars each, 6,800 \ 

Bank of Alexandria, 1,000 / 

Besides 20 shares in the free school — 5. 

STOCK LIVING. 
One covering horse, 5 carriage horses, 4 riding horses, 
6 brood mares, 20 working horses and mares, 2 
covering jacks and 3 young ones, 10 she-asses, 42 
working mules, 15 younger ones, 329 head of 
horned cattle, 640 head of sheep, and a large stock 
of hogs, the precise number unknown. ([/• My 
manager has estimated this live stock atJ^OOO; 
but I shall set it down, in order to make a round 
sum, at 15,653 

Aggregate amount, $530,000 



NOTES. 

(a) This tract, for the size of it, is valaable, more for its situation than the 
qaality of its soil ; though that is good for fanning, with a considerable propor- 
tion of ground that might very easily be improved into meadow. It lies on the 
great road from the city of Washington, Alexandria, and Georgetown, to Lees- 
burgh and Winchester, at Difficult Bridge, nineteen miles from Alexandria, 
less from the city of Georgetown, and not more than three from Matildaville, at 
the Great FaUs of Potomac. There is a valuable seat on the premises, and the 
whole is conditionally sold for the sum annexed in the schedule. 

(6) What the selling prices of lands in the vicinity of these two tracts are, 
I know not; but, compared with those above the Ridge, and others below them, 
the value annexed will appear moderate; a less one would not obtain them 
from me. 

(c) The surrounding land, not superior in soil, situation, or properties of any 
sort, sells currently at from twenty to thirty dollars an acre. The lowest price 
is affixed to these. 

(d) The observations made in the last note apply equally to this tract ; being 
in the vicinity of them, and of similar quality, although it lies in smother 
county. 

(e) This tract, though small, is extremely valuable. It lies on Potomac 
River, about twelve miles above the town of Bath, or Warm Springs, and is in 
the shape of a horseshoe ; the river running almost around it Two hundred 
acres of it are rich low grounds, with a great abundance of the largest and finest 
walnut trees; which, with the produce of the soil, might (by means of the im- 

.proved navigation of the Potomac) be brought to a shipping port with more 
ease, and at a smaller expense, than that which is transported thirty miles only 
by land. 



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684 WASHINGTON'S WILL. [Appeii»ix. 

(/) Thif tract ia of second-rate Gloucester low ground. It haa no improTe- 
ments thereon, but Ilea on narigable water, abounding in fish and oysters. It 
was receired in payment of a debt, (carrying interest,) and rained in the year 
1789, by an impartial gentleman, at £800. N. B. It has lately been sold, and 
there is due thereon a balance, equal to what is annexed in the schedule. 

(g) These 373 acres are the third part of an undirided purchase made by the 
deceased Fielding Lewis, Thomas Walker, and myself, on full conviction that 
they would become Taluable. The land lies on the road from Suffolk and Nor- 
folk, touches (if I am not mistaken) some part of the navigable water of Nanse> 
mond River. The rich Dismal Swamp is capable of great impioFement, and 
from its situation must become extremely valuable. 

(A) This is an undivided interest, which I held in the Great Dismal Swamp 
Company, containing about 4000 acres, with my part of the plantation and stock 
thereon, belonging to the Company in the said swamp. 

(t) These several tracts of land are of the first quality, on the Ohio River, in 
the parts where they are situated ; being almost, if not altogether, river bottoms. 
The smallest of these tracts is aotaally sold at ten dollars an acre, but the con- 
sideration therefor not received. The rest are equally valuable, and sold as 
high ; especially that which lies just below the Little Kenhawa, and is opposite 
to a thick settlement on the west side of the river. The four tracts have an 
aggregate breadth upon the rifer of sixteen miles, and are bounded thereby for 
that distance. 

(k) These tracts are situated on the Great Kenhawa River, and the first four 
are bounded thereby for more than forty miles. It is acknowledged by all who 
have seen them, (and of the tract containing 10,990 acres, which I have been on 
myself, I can assert,) that there is no richer or more valuable land in all that 
region. They are conditionally sold for the sum mentioned in the schedule, that 
is, 200,000 dollars ; and, if the terms of that sale are not complied with, they will 
command considerably more. The tract, of which the 195 acres is a moiety, was 
taken up by CSeneral Andrew Lewis and myself, for and on account of a bitu- 
minous spring which it contains, of so inflammable a nature as to bum as freely 
as spirits, and is nearly as difficult to extinguish. 

(t) I am but little acquainted with this land, although I have once been on it 
It was received (many years since) in discharge of a debt to me fh>m Daniel 
Jenifer Adams, at the value annexed thereto, and must be^srorth more. It is 
very level ; lies near the river Potomac. 

(m) This tract lies about thirty miles above the city of Washington, not far 
from Kittoctan. It is good farming land ; and, by those who are well acquainted 
with it, I am informed that it would sell at twelve or fifleen dollars per acre. 

(n) This land is valuable on account of its local situation, and other proper- 
ties. It affords an exceeding good stand on Braddock*s Road from Fort Cum- 
berland to Pittsburg, and, besides a fertile soil, possesses a large quantity of 
natural meadow, fit for the scythe. It is distinguished by the appellation of the 
Great Meadows, where the first action with the French in 1754 was fought. 

(o) This is the moiety of about 2000 acres; which remains unsold of 6071 
acres on the Mohawk River, (Montgomery County,) in a patent granted to Daniel 
Coxe, in the township of Coxborough and Carolina, as will appear by deed from 
Marinus Willett and wife to George Clinton, late governor of New York, and 
myself. The latter sales have been at six dollars an acre, and what remains 
unsold will fetch that or more. 

(p) The quality of these lands, and their situations, may be known by the 



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Appendix.] WASHINGTON'S WILL. 585 

sQTveyor's certificates, which are filed along with the patents. They lie in the 
vicinity of Cincinnati ; one tract near the mouth of the Little Miami ; another 
Beven, and the third ten miles up the same. I have been informed that they 
will command more than they are estimated at. 

(q) For the description of these tracts in detail, see General Spotswood's 
letters, filed with the other papers relating to them. Besides the general good 
quality of the land, there is a valuable bank of iron ore thereon, which, when the 
settlement becomes more populous, (and settlers are moving that way very fast,) 
will be found very valuable, as the Rough Creek, a branch of Green River, 
afibrds ample water for furnaces and forges. 

LOTS. 
CITY OF WASHINGTON. 

(r) The two lots near the Capitol, in square 634, cost me 963 dollars only. 
But in this price I was fiivored, on condition that I should build two brick houses, 
three stories high each. Without this reduction, the selling prices of those lots 
would have cost me about 1350 dollars. These lots, with the buildings thereon, 
when completed, will stand me in 15,000 dollars at least. 

(5) Lots Nos. 5, 12, 13, and 14, on the Eastern Branch, are advantageously 
situated on the water; and, although many lots, much less convenient, have sold 
a great deal higher, I will rate these at 12 cents the square foot only. 

ALEXANDRIA. 
(t) For this lot, though unimproved, I have refused 3500 dollars. It has 
since been laid out into proper sized lots for building on; three or four of which 
are let on ground rent for ever, at three dollars a foot on the street, and this price 
is asked for both fronts on Pitt and Prince streets. 

WINCHESTER, 
(u) As neither the lot in the town or common have any improvements on 
them, it is not easy to fix a price ; but, as both are well situated, it is presumed 
that the price annexed to them in the schedule is a reasonable valuation. 

BATH. 
(v) The lots in Bath (two adjoining) cost me, to the best of my recollection, 
between fifty and sixty pounds, twenty years ago ; and the buildings thereon, 
one hundred and fifty pounds more. Whether property there has increased or 
decreased in its value, and in what condition the houses are, I am ignorant ; but 
suppose they are not valued too high. 

STOCK. 

(w) These are the sums which are actually funded ; and though no more in the 
aggregate than 7566 dollars, stand me in at least ten thousand pounds, Virginia 
money ; being the amount of bonded and other debts due to me, and discharged 
during the war, when money had depreciated in that rate, — Qij' and was so 
settled by public authority. 

(x) The value annexed to these shares is what they have actually cost me, 
and is the price affixed by law; and, although the present selling price is under 
par, my advice to the legatees (for whose benefit they are intended, especially 
those who can afibrd to lie out of the money,) is, that each should take and hold 
one ; there being a moral certainty of a great and increasing profit arising from 
them in the course of a few years. 

VOL. L 74 



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586 WASHINGTON'S WILL. [Appewoix. 

(y) It is 0iippo0ed that the wbaieB in the Jamei River Compaiy mnii be pro- 
ductive. But of this I can gire no decided opinion, for wmat of ayom ifcocwrtte 
information. 

(z) These are the nominal prices of the shares in the Banks of Alexandria 
and Colombia ; the selling prices vary aooording to cironmstanoes ; but, as the 
stocks osoally divide from eight to ten per cent per aannm, they most be worth 
the former, at least, so long as the banks are conceived Id be aooare, ahhoogh 
from oircomstanoes they may sometimes be below iL 

The value of the live stock depends more upon the qnality than qnaatity of 
the diffieront species of it, and this again open the demand, and jqdgment or 
fancy of purchasers. 

GEORGE WASHINGTON. 

Mount Vemon, July 9, 1799. 



END OF VOL. I. 



CAMBRIDGE : 

FOLBOM, WELLS, AND THUESTOIT, 

FRIlVTBBfl TO TBS UNITERBITT. 






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